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Education & Training

Indiana Pre-College & Vocational Arts Preparation

Beyond I CAN: Creates jobs and experiences allowing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to operate a visual arts business. Located in Muncie, high school and post high school individuals with special needs learn how to operate a gallery and gift shop as they create a line of products within an integrated workplace. Beyond I CAN hosts teachers and administrators interested in its approach, presenting workshops and providing free support to organizations wishing to start similar programs.

Indiana Black Expo Youth Video Institute: Provides hands-on training to Indianapolis students ages 13-19 in the fields of television and video production, computer animation/graphics, and broadcast journalism/on-air talent. The Institute has had demonstrated success with its students who go on to pursue post-secondary education in the fields of communications and technology, many of whom have received financial awards and college scholarships.

Indiana Repertory Theatre Summer Conservatory for Youth: Young people (ages 8 to 18) can learn about theatre-making from professional actors, administrators, directors, and technicians through the Acting Track (includes other peforming arts) or the Production Track (stage management, directing, lighting, scenic design, costumes, properties and playwriting).

Urban Artisans Program: A program of ArtMix (formerly VSA Indiana) that supports young adults, ages 16-22, in the transition from school to the workplace. Indianapolis area students with and without disabilities learn transferable, pre-vocational skills through making, marketing, and selling artwork in a professional artist studio.

Indiana Resources for Post-Secondary Education

Colleges and Universities in Indiana: A list posted by the Indiana Department of Education.

CIP Bloomington: Formerly the College Internship Program, CIP's Indiana program assists young adults with autism and other learning differences to succeed in college, employment, and independent living.

College Connections Program: A collaborative program of Jefferson Community & Technical College and Down Syndrome of Louisville.

iCanConnect (Indiana National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program): Provides communication technology, assessment and training to eligible individuals.

Indiana's Education and Training Choices: Search for training programs in career clusters including art, media, and communications. Compare the costs, training program outcomes, length of training, degrees, and certifications available.

Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Eligible persons may receive services and assistance for employment-related needs, including support for vocationally-related education. Look under State Government in the blue government pages of the telephone book for the number of your local office, or find regional offices listed online.

Is College for You? Setting Goals and Taking Action: A free online publication that guides students and their parents through issues such as career goals, learning styles, types of colleges and programs, advocating for yourself, important timelines, paying for college, accommodations, survival tips, and more.

Learn More Resource Center: Information about college in Indiana, preparing for college, getting to college, student financial aid, Indiana career information, and other essential information.

Trip to College: A mobile platform from the Indiana Youth Institute, to keep up with deadlines, scholarships and more.

Resources for Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities

Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)

Accredited Online Colleges and Disability Education

Black, Disabled, and Proud: College Students with Disabilities is a website for college and college-bound students, created by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Disability Consortium and the Association on Higher Education and Disability.

Bookshare Online Library: Dedicated to providing the same ease of access to books and periodicals that people without print disabilities enjoy. Designed for people with visual impairments, physical disabilities, or learning disabilities. Memberships free for U.S. students.

College Information for Students with Disabilities: resource page on the website

Going to College: A resource for teens with disabilities. “If you are in high school and are thinking about going to college, one of the best things you can do is to start preparing for it now.”

Guides for College Students with Disabilities: Resources on a variety of disability types and topics related to post-secondary education.

HEATH Resource Center: An online clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities, at the National Youth Transitions Center.

Helping Students with Visual Impairments: Higher education resources, tools and technology.

Online Learning For Students With Disabilities: "A complete guide to distance learning for students with disabilities. Learn how to work with disability services, employ assistive technology, evaluate online programs, and succeed in the virtual classroom." Free, online publication.

Resources for College Students with Visual Impairments from

2015 Summer Pre-College Programs for Students with Disabilities: Free, online publication from the HEATH Center (see above), updated annually.

Think College: a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disabilities.

We Connect Now: Created by a student with a disability, the website is dedicated to uniting people interested in rights and issues affecting people with disabilities, with emphasis on college students and access to higher education and employment issues.

Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities: "A recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated post-secondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs."

National Directories of Post-Secondary Arts Education

All Art

Accredited Online Art Colleges and Universities in Indiana and nationally are listed in the online database at

A Directory of Online, Accredited Visual Arts Degree Programs in the U.S.


Brown County Creative Mentoring Program: Local middle and high school students are paired with volunteer artists, performers, or writers for mentoring outside of school hours. For information about the program or starting a similar project, e-mail Beth Mathers or contact her at P.O. Box 505, Nashville IN 47448; telephone (812) 988-9655.

National Disability Mentoring Coalition

CareerConnect Mentors: Learn about careers from experienced professionals in the arts who have visual impairments. CareerConnect Mentors with the American Foundation for the Blind tell their stories of successes and challenges. Some of the arts professions discussed include: Vocal Performer, Audio Engineer, Interior and Home Designer, Music Educator and Scholar, Freelance Writer, Piano Technician, Voice-Over Actress, Wildlife Artist, Music Therapist, and Journalist.

Disability Mentoring Day: Connects nearly 13,000 students and job seekers with disabilities to thousands of employers each year in dozens of locations across the country, which have included Indianapolis. Sponsored by by the American Association of People with Disabilities.

See also:  Scholarships/Financial Aid   |   Internships   |   School to Work Transition

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"I remember my instructor saying that I would be very disappointed in the first few rolls of film I took because I would know how I wanted the picture to look but didn't have enough skill to make it turn out the way I envisioned. I was so thrilled with how it turned out that I quit my full-time job to go to photography school full time."

Traci Parks, Photographer