Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities | St. Louis Public Radio

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Betty Sharp, right, works with Sara Charles, left, on one of many art projects at Living Arts Studio.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

The Living Arts Studio in Maplewood has become the default location for many budding artists in the St. Louis area. Artists often meet at the studio to work on projects that will be sold and displayed at galleries around the area, including at the St. Louis Art Museum and the University of Missouri — St. Louis.

The studio focuses on inclusion, specifically for creative people with disabilities. It is part of VSA Missouri, the state organization that promotes inclusion in the arts. It is also an affiliate of the national John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

(L to R) Jacqueline Jefferson, Robert Hawker and Jane Skinner joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

An international program with a presence in St. Louis is helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities find employment.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with disabilities are much less likely to be employed: only 27 percent of women aged 16-64, and 34 percent of men in that age group. That’s compared with 68 percent of women and 79 percent of men without disabilities.

In addition, The Arc, a disability rights organization, estimates that the employment rate for people with developmental disabilities is even lower.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Miriam School, Miriam Learning Center and Miriam Switching Post all exist to serve a singular purpose: helping to educate children with complex learning disabilities. On Thursday, a student, parent and the head of school joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh in discussing raising a child with a learning disability.

UMSL Photo/August Jennewein

This past fall, a new educational program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities began at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The program, called SUCCEED, is a two-year residential program designed to help students build the skills needed to either find a job or enroll in a degree-seeking program.

The program is the brainchild of Deborah Baldini, the associate dean  for the College of Arts and Sciences/Continuing Education at UMSL, and the president and CEO of St. Louis Arc, Kathy Meath.