A key component of the DDS mission includes the vision statement is that “Individuals have lifelong opportunities and the assistance to learn things that matter”.
Lifelong learning is the "ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated" pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also competitiveness and employability. (Department of Education and Science (2000). Learning for Life: White Paper on Adult Education. Dublin: Stationery Office)
- Learning is not restricted to the formal education systems or classroom learning.
- Learning should happen across the lifespan.
- Learning enhances strengths, talents and personal interests.
- Learning is on-going and promotes active engagement with others and the world around us.
Regardless of age, people with disabilities are citizens who are entitled to the same rights and opportunities as people without disabilities. But through the years, people with disabilities have struggled to enjoy many aspects of society that those without disabilities take for granted. Lifelong education has always been one of these aspects, and while much progress has taken place, much more remains to be accomplished.
Many adult programs in our communities may not be inclusive or accessible to people with disabilities simply because of where they are located and how they are structured.
People with disabilities should not be expected to attend “special “programs. Programs should be available based on subject matter and interest.
People with disabilities that have access to lifelong learning are less likely to be dependent on social service systems, but they have often had barriers that have hindered their participation in educational systems from an early age.
Ideas to assist people with disabilities to have lifelong learning opportunities are listed below:
Adult Ed Programs in CT
Boys and Girls Club