UCP of NYC Partners with NYU Polytechnic on Disabilities Studies Course

UCP of NYC recently engaged in an exciting partnership with NYU Polytechnic to deliver a transformational course in Disabilities Studies. The 14-week experiential learning course taught by Allan Goldstein pairs college students with consulting self-advocates from UCP of NYC as a part of the core curriculum. Through this partnership, students engage with the consultants to gain a better understanding of life with a disability through service learning, readings, lectures, and videos.

As part of the curriculum, teams participate in a semester-long project dedicated to creating a person-centered self-advocacy product to advance the goals of their consultant in areas like education, employment, and daily living. Team projects lean heavily on story-telling tools like photography, video, song, writing or a combination of media; blogging is common among all teams. Each week, teams meet in class to develop their projects, learn about disability history and laws, and participate in exciting discussions. Teams also meet with their consultants in the community to gain a deeper understanding of their lives and goals for the project. Final project presentations will be made in May.

Above all, the course is helping students to become more conscientious citizens and to consider people with disabilities in their future professional lives, innovations, and entrepreneurships. Anecdotal evidence of this success is in the strong bonds formed between the teams and their self-advocate consultants. Teammates consider each other as people first, and are gaining life skills built on mutual respect and an understanding of ability before disability.

We look forward to sharing the outcomes of this important educational project and will offer a view of sample final projects later this spring.

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