Thomas is in his first year in the University of Regina’s Campus For All (CFA) program working towards a Certificate of Inclusive Post-Secondary Education. CFA is for adults who have an intellectual disability. The goal is to provide an authentic university experience.
Campus For All is a great place for students to:
· Explore their interests
· Improve academic skills
· Meet new people
· Prepare for a job
· Become more independent (just like all university students)
Thomas was accepted into CFA this fall. He has dreamed for years of attending university. He began auditing classes on his own last year, completing three courses in Fine Arts, including a three-week intensive spring class. After his first class, he was determined to make it into CFA.
“I like university. I like to take classes where I learn more about what I am interested in,” says Thomas. “In Voice Alive, I am learning about Shakespeare, poetry, breathing exercises, learning how to speak better, pronunciation, the rhythm of language, and projecting my voice. I like that the class is pretty small, and that I already knew some of the people in the class.”
Peer support is an important part of CFA. Thomas meets with a fellow student for lunch after class. A second student helps him with his homework. Then he takes the bus home.
Thomas likes meeting new people, seeing and hanging out with friends, and saying hi in the hallways. As a student in CFA, he also participates in other campus activities, including the university Concert Choir and Best Buddies.
He takes in concerts and performances on campus, uses the pool and enjoys Paws for Success, a campus pet therapy program. “I can go and pet the dogs, it is fun to do, relaxing, and the dogs are always happy to see people.”
There are also some challenges. “Everything is different than high school,” says Thomas. “There are a lot more people.” Sometimes he’s unsure what to do or how to act. “Some of the work is hard,” he says. But he likes that he is learning new things. He’s just getting started on a brand new phase of life and loving it.