Spenser Norris has been appointed as the new Project Manager for the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD)’s Inclusive Digital Expression and Literacy (IDEAL) program. IDEAL is Georgia State University (GSU)’s inclusive college program for students with mild intellectual disabilities.
Since 2016, Ms. Norris has played a key role in operating and expanding the IDEAL program, which has now supported over 30 students with intellectual disabilities. She has created meaningful internship opportunities both for undergraduate students with intellectual disabilities and for graduate students in service professions to enhance their job skills. Notably, 80% of IDEAL graduates are employed, and they make higher wages than the national average for people with intellectual disabilities. In addition to her work within the IDEAL program, Ms. Norris has also successfully supported other inclusive college programs in Georgia to deepen their connections with Vocational Rehabilitation agencies and Rehabilitation Service Administration scholars to enhance program sustainability.
In her new role, Ms. Norris will be responsible for securing program funding and managing contracts with external partners; representing the program at state and regional meetings; and providing training and consultation to other programs and community members. She will continue promoting and communicating the impact of the IDEAL program to increase program support and foster connections with employers and internship sites to enhance students’ experiences.
Ms. Norris holds a Master’s in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling from GSU. She is an experienced special educator, clinical rehabilitation counselor, and soon-to-be licensed professional counselor. Her professional interests center around inclusive higher education, supporting people with disabilities to find meaningful career opportunities, systems-level advocacy, mental health, and sexual health education and wellness.