The University of New Hampshire received a $2.5 million grant for its Institute on Disability, the university announced Monday.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education and will allow UNH "to create greater access to post-secondary education for young adults with an intellectual disability," according to the announcement.

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The project, known as the Granite State Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID), is designed to narrow the state's education gap. Per the announcement, citing the 2019 Disability Statistics Compendium, "in 2018 only 13.9% of New Hampshire residents with a disability age 25 and over carried a four-year college degree, compared to 24.3% of residents without disabilities. Additionally, young adults with intellectual disabilities are significantly more likely to be underemployed and live in poverty than their peers."

"Opportunities for jobs and careers often come through post-secondary training and education experiences," UNH Institute on Disability Director Dr. Kelly Nye-Lengerman said in the announcement. "For many students with ID, post-secondary opportunities are not extended to or expected of them. Today, that experience is changing."

The TPSID is expected to support up to 50 UNH students with intellectual disabilities to "innovative campus and remote-learning opportunities will combine traditional classroom experiences with inclusive campus life options, peer mentoring, and academic coaching to prepare students for academic, occupational, and social success," per the announcement.

"We've been working with UNH departments on campus as well as state agencies and non-profit partners to develop this model for the past five years," TPSID Principal Investigator Dr. Tobey Partch-Davies said. "We're excited to be at this stage of implementation."

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