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Bethel Shares Insights About BUILD Program with Guests from Bhutan

Bethel students Hanna Dryden BUILD’20 and Shane Kargel BUILD’20 lead a tour of guests from Bhutan and representatives from the University of Birmingham, England, and the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI) on January 7.

By Judd Martinson '20

January 22, 2020 | 11:50 a.m.

Bethel BUILD Visit

Bethel students Hanna Dryden BUILD’20 and Shane Kargel BUILD’21 lead a tour of guests from Bhutan and representatives from the University of Birmingham, England, and the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI) on January 7.

A Bhutanese delegation recently visited Bethel University to learn about the BUILD program as part of Bhutan’s work regarding the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. One guest followed up after the event asking for a sample of the individualized educational program the BUILD program uses.

The group of 18 guests from Bhutan and representatives from the University of Birmingham, England, and the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI) visited Bethel on January 7. BUILD program students and staff outlined Bethel’s BUILD program and led a tour around campus.

“We are hopeful that this will be the start of an ongoing collaboration with the University of Minnesota's ICI. It was such a meaningful experience to be reminded that we are not alone in our work to value and include individuals in all aspects of life, including higher education,” says BUILD Director Dawn Allen.

BUILD is a two-year postsecondary program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The program offers encouraging instruction, career-oriented curriculum, specialized mentorship, and on-campus living—all within a supportive Christian environment. BUILD is an integral part of the Bethel community, but similar programs are rare at other universities.

What a blessing and opportunity to be able to share details of Bethel's BUILD program with a leader in the field of intellectual disabilities, the U of M's ICI, and their Bhutanese guests.

— Katie Bonawitz, assistant dean of the Center for Access and Integration
At the University of Minnesota, ICI aims to make sure individuals with disabilities are integrated in and valued by the communities where they choose to live. The institute offers training on how to support individuals with disabilities, technical assistance, research, and dissemination of information generated by ICI’s work. ICI is the University of Minnesota’s program that fits into the national network of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).

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