There are lots of kids who have learning challenges who in earlier generations would have had no chance of going to college. The really sad part of that is that many of them are wired in a way that they are capable of performing mental tasks far more difficult than most of us, and so as society we missed out on their contributions because they couldn't get their education.
The University of South Carolina wanted to change that so they started Carolina Life for those kids The way they describe it; Carolina Life Program is a post-secondary education program for students with disabilities that prepares participants for independent living and employment upon graduation. As members of the University of South Carolina community, students are afforded the same opportunities to become immersed in college life–joining clubs and organizations, taking USC coursework, and living in on-campus housing. CarolinaLIFE is an individualized program that takes into account each student’s support needs and goals for life after college. Through job experiences and instruction in applied academics, personal development and self-advocacy, and independent living, students are prepared to graduate with the skills necessary to live independently while maintaining meaningful and competitive employment. CarolinaLIFE collaborates with campus and community partners to ensure that all students are maximizing their experience. Led by College of Education professor Anthony Plotner, CarolinaLIFE’s full-time staff work with emerging teaching professionals to provide students with high-quality instruction and support.
They posted a video of one young man named Mac Watson who lives in Virginia. His mom, Laurin, films him opening the letter that welcomes him to Carolina Life.