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Sowing Seeds of Independence, Friendship

In recognition of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we’re highlighting Redwood SEED Scholar Karis Chun and her experiences working as a student employee at Shields Library.

Honoring our Neurodiversity

Have you heard the term neurodiversity yet? It’s the idea that people experience the world differently and that neurological differences are not deficits. It embraces inclusion, respect and the value of all people.

‘You’re different because you have a voice’: New class of Redwood SEED Scholars joins UC Davis

The number of students at UC Davis with an intellectual disability has more than doubled, thanks to the inclusive Redwood SEED Scholars program. Twenty-one scholars – 12 freshmen and nine sophomores – now call the campus home. They will spend four years on campus living in dorms, taking classes and completing internships and jobs as they work toward a practical credential rather than a degree.

The UC Davis Redwood SEED Scholars Program is now a Living Learning Community!

Living-Learning Communities and Shared-Interest Communities are communities within the residence halls that provide an opportunity for students with similar interests to live in the same hall or on the same floor. The communities allow students to enjoy unique activities, as well as more traditional social and recreational opportunities.

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Successful first year for UC Davis program for students with intellectual disabilities

It’s been a year of firsts for the 10 UC Davis Redwood SEED Scholars.

The first time living away from home. The first time navigating their way around a college campus to attend classes. Their first internships or jobs. And for some, a first in terms of friendship.

“This is my first time actually having friends with disabilities before, so it feels good. I’m just happy that I have friends like this in my life now,” said scholar Olivia Adams-Falconer, who had dreamed of studying at UC Davis ever since her older brother attended the school a number of years ago.

UC Davis Top Graduating Senior is an Academic Mentor for Redwood SEED Scholars

Senior Amanda Portier of the University of California, Davis, led the team of hundreds that put on this year’s Picnic Day — attended by tens of thousands of people and believed to be the largest student-run event in the country. She also has been a mentor to individuals with intellectual disabilities, shed light on social justice issues and achieved a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average.

UC Davis program for students with intellectual disabilities completes first quarter

The UC Davis Redwood SEED (Supported Education to Elevate Diversity) Scholars Program is the first four-year inclusive college program with a residential area for students with intellectual disabilities in California. Beth Foraker, an instructor for the School of Education, and Leonard Abbeduto, the director of the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute, are co-directors of the program. 

UC Davis Introduces the Redwood SEED Scholars

When Ryan Fitch moved into his dormitory at UC Davis last fall, he had to leave his drum set at home in Santa Barbara. 

“We figured that was a little too much for the dorms,” laughed Melissa Fitch, Ryan’s mom, as family members unloaded a refrigerator, boxes of clothing, and family photos to display in his new room. 

Ryan Fitch to Attend Redwood SEED Scholars Program at UC Davis

"What a difference a year makes." Melissa Fitch is talking about the journey that took her son, Ryan, from emergency brain surgery to admission to the first 4-year inclusive college program in the state of California.

In May 2020, Ryan's speech suddenly became slurred. A few days later, when Ryan noted that "my hands feel funny" and his family saw that his face was drooping, they called a neurologist.

UC Davis Magazine: An Education Game Changer

his fall, UC Davis will enroll 12 extraordinary new students. All will have intellectual disabilities. They’ll be called Redwood SEED (Supported Education to Elevate Diversity) Scholars and be part of California’s first four-year residential program for students with intellectual disabilities such as autism, fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome.