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Student Success Stories

Watch videos or read about people with a variety of disabilities who have created successful lives.

Videos

Perfectly Abled: Life on Campus with a Disability

A university student with disability, Ashley Anderson, discusses the struggles of campus life in a wheelchair and misconceptions about her disability. This documentary won awards in Iowa. 6:30-minutes. 

Michael’s Journey

Michael was diagnosed with autism at age three. While spoken words confused and agitated him, written words gave a nonverbal boy a voice. From Digital Storytelling – Families Around New Hampshire. 2:54-minutes.

Success as a Teen with a Learning Disability

Kcory Woltz discusses his “Top 5,” including the people who helped him succeed and his top advice for young people with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Kcory is an 2013 Allegra Ford Thomas Scholar. 2:24-minutes.

Bottom Line – Project Search

Project Search is a national school-to-work program for students and young adults with intellectual disabilities. The program provides real life work experience to help students successfully transition from school to a productive adult life. 7:03-minutes.

cover image for Paul Dalio video

Gifted With Bipolar Disorder

Filmmaker Paul Dalio considers bipolar disorder more of a blessing than a curse. Posted by The Huffington Post on March 11, 2016. 2:35-minutes.

Work Early, Work Often

Hear from a young professional how her early work experiences helped lead to long-term success. Recommended by Becky Auger of NHVR. 2:54-minutes.

Voices of Experience: John Newman

Meet John Newman, an assistive technology specialist at PACER Center and a young adult with a cognitive disability.  4:28-minutes.

person-centered planning map for Rob

Transition: Life Planning for Success

Learn about Rob and his successful transition experience. (The video takes a couple minutes to load.) 7:45-minutes.

David, a worker in Washington State

David’s Story: A School-to-Work Transition Success

An employment training and support services company helped David successfully transition from school to working two jobs in the community—at the Kirkland Reporter and Glassybaby. 4:09-minutes.

Laugh & Learn: A Panel Discussion of Comedians with Disabilities

Watch video highlights of Laugh & Learn: A Panel Discussion of Comedians with Disabilities in celebration of 23 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 8:09-minutes.

Voices of Experience: Jonathan Mooney

Meet Jonathan Mooney, prolific author, sought-after national speaker, and a young man with significant learning disabilities.  3:27-minutes.

See more from the PACER Center’s Voices of Experience video series

Jonathan Mooney on Lessons Learned

Jonathan Mooney discusses the lessons he learned from his disability. 3:55-minutes.

Stories and vignettes

The National Parent Center on Transition and Employment success story collection includes stories about preparing for or finding a job, navigating postsecondary education, or identifying a community resource or piece of assistive technology that really worked for a student. Titles include:

  • High expectations help teen realize her college dreams
  • A hairy situation with a happy ending
  • Teen finds his voice through theater
  • Ashlee sees opportunities instead of obstacles
  • Perseverance leads to rewards

Job Corps is a national career technical training and education program for low-income young people ages 16 through 24. Students can earn a high school diploma, a high school equivalency credential, or college credits; and career technical training in more than 100 career areas. Students receive housing, meals, basic health care, a living allowance, training, and preparation for a career, all at no cost. Success stories: