An SRU professor received a grant for $100,000 from the Edith Trees Charitable Trust to assist and support people with intellectual disabilities.
Robert Arnhold, a physical health and education professor and Rock Life, an academic program that was started to support people with intellectual disabilities, giving them the opportunities any other student would have at SRU. The program allows these disabled individuals to audit classes they might be interested in here on campus. Courses in music, art and other various subjects will be available to them so they can interact with student and professors alike.
“We are thrilled to continue this much-needed collaboration with Edith Trees,” Arnhold said. “We applied [for the grant] through letter format and Edit Trees has renewed our funding every two years. I see that as a testament to the connections we make through Rock Life with those who have intellectual disabilities.”
The grant is for two years, and the program will receive $50,000 in 2017 and the same amount in 2018.
“We’re very proud of what we do through Rock Life,” Arnhold said. “This gives people who didn’t have the chance to experience the classroom environment to get involved and learn alongside their peers. It’s wonderful for our students to gain experience with individuals who have intellectual disabilities so they can have a better understanding of what they struggle with and they can best relate to them in the future.”
Arnhold said the $50,000 grant will go towards hiring student works to help coordinate events and social activities. They are also looking to expand and offer recreational programs to further the inclusion of those with intellectual disabilities at SRU.