Built on the core belief that disability is a natural part of human diversity and everyone benefits from inclusion and belonging, the Institute for Developmental Disabilities equips students, practitioners, scholars and family members to become agents of change alongside individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
- Fostering belonging: Joining forces to support the ordinary needs of families.
2021 Joining Forces Conference hosted by Oklahoma Family Network
- From vulnerable to belonging: Expanding our understanding of diversity to include
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to
promote family and community health and resiliency
2020 Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)
- Polypharmacy and drug interactions among Oklahomans with intellectual disability
2020 American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Instagram mini-lecture series
- The Institute for Developmental Disabilities offers internship and research practicum opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to real world experience, students gain knowledge of best practices for supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families under the direct supervision of Institute leadership.
Opportunity Orange Scholars
Formally established in June 2021, Opportunity Orange Scholars (OOS) is an Inclusive Postsecondary Education (IPSE) program at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and a signature academic program of the Institute for Developmental Disabilities.
The need for an IPSE program at OSU and the vision for OOS grew out of the determination and fearlessness of three young adults with intellectual disability whose early work and study on campus demonstrated that everyone benefits when universities embrace diverse learners and make campus accessible to all. As co-founders of the Institute for Developmental Disabilities, Drs. Jennifer Jones and Kami Gallus worked to lay the foundation for the program. Following approval from University administration in 2020, Jones and Gallus continued to cultivate relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. Thanks to start-up funding of $65,000 from the
Oklahoma-based nonprofit, LeadLearnLive the program was officially launched in June 2021. Additional grant funding from the Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma and donations to OSU Foundation supported initial development of the program in FY22.
In August 2022, five pioneering young adults will begin the Opportunity Orange Scholars certificate program as OSU’s first students with intellectual disability. OOS is currently awaiting federal approval for designation as Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP), which will allow qualified OOS students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be eligible for some forms of financial aid. Plans for ongoing expansion and development include expanding program marketing and communications and growing program enrollment to support additional qualified students.