FAU’s ACI Receives $1.5M Grant from The Taft Foundation


(Photo by Alex Dolce)

By brittany sylvestri | 8/5/2020

Florida Atlantic University’s Academy for Community Inclusion (ACI) within the Department of Exceptional Student Education in the College of Education recently received a $1.5 million grant from The Taft Foundation

FAU’s ACI is a college program for high school graduates who have been diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program allows students to participate in college activities, clubs, events and organizations that are available to all FAU students.

The grant is a continuation of a generous multi-year commitment from The Taft Foundation designated to provide funding for the program’s development, recruitment and personnel.

“ACI would not have been made possible without the Taft Foundation,” said Michael Brady, Ph.D., professor and chair of FAU’s Department of Exceptional Student Education. “This grant will continue to enable FAU to become a state and national leader, helping other colleges and universities develop progressive and meaningful curricula and contributing to an evolving national research agenda.”

Since opening in January 2016, ACI has admitted 61 students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to FAU. All students pursue credit-generating courses and employment preparation activities leading to a certificate in supported employment. 

“FAU’s Academy for Community Inclusion is doing outstanding work,” said Howard Rothman, president and chairman of the Board of Directors at The Taft Foundation. “ACI harnesses the potential of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and prepares them for a future filled with purpose and the possibility for employment.” 

The mission of ACI is to increase overall independence in employment, self-determination and community experiences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For more information on FAU’s Academy for Inclusion, click here