About Project F.O.C.U.S.

Project F.O.C.U.S. is a comprehensive post-secondary education (PSE) program for college aged students (which is 18 years and older) with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (including young adults with Autism). In order to fulfill the Project’s mission statement, F.O.C.U.S. will provide an inclusive, accessible and productive career education program by incorporating evidence-based research and positive behavior supports that will promote self-determination, community partnerships, and job readiness skills in order to prepare individuals with Intellectual Disabilities for competitive paid employment in the INCLUSIVE community setting. UNLV F.O.C.U.S. will address the need to support individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disability in the Las Vegas Valley and local communities by providing a Post Secondary Education program that focuses on inclusive Academics, Employment, and Independent Living. More specifically, the broad goals, in regards to inclusive academics, employment, and independent living, of F.O.C.U.S. are described below.

Goals of F.O.C.U.S.

Academics
Participants of F.O.C.U.S. will be able to participate in inclusive college courses based on their individual interests. These classes may pertain directly to their future career or they may be courses that can be taken as electives.

To support individualized academics, the proposed project will:

  1. Use person-centered planning to design individualized program of studies based on each individual’s interests, preferences, and needed supports.
  2. Use person-centered planning to develop an individualized program of study that is related to the employment goals of the F.O.C.U.S. participant.
  3. Build interdisciplinary partnerships within the UNLV campus community that will support the individual interests of each F.O.C.U.S. participant.
  4. Provide a certificate of completion that is recognized in the local community.
Employment
Similar to the academics, participants of F.O.C.U.S. will be provided with supports to find and experience a career that is of interest. To support inclusive employment, the proposed project will:
  1. Develop individualized job training and self-advocacy skills for Project participants to assist/find meaningful and person-centered competitive employment in the community.
  2. Establish community and campus partnerships that will provide internships, employment opportunities/training, and/or competitive wages.
  3. Establish national, state, and local agency supports that can provide ongoing job coaching services if necessary.
  4. Provide scaffolds/support through F.O.C.U.S. volunteers in order to develop independence of desired employment.
Independent Living
Independent living skills will be addressed during the duration of each student’s program, based . These skills will be based on each participant’s needs and will be planned accordingly and will be taught in the natural, inclusive environment.To support individualized independent living, the proposed project will:
  1. Continue to develop age-appropriate academic, functional, and social skills by promoting self-determination skills through participation of inclusive academic and campus opportunities.
  2. Continue to informally develop functional independent living skills needed for each individual’s environment through person-centered planning.
  3. Continue to develop functional independent living skills through inclusive continuing education courses.
  4. Support components of independent living, as needed, through F.O.C.U.S. volunteers and inclusive functional activities.