Innovative College Program Graduates Students with Developmental Disabilities

Fulfilling their dreams and assisting them to pursue employment aligned with their interests.

Milwaukee – AbleLight College, in partnership with Concordia University Wisconsin, will graduate its eighth class on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Six students with developmental disabilities will receive their Certificate of Applied Learning alongside their CUW peers after successfully completing the two-year college program focused on furthering their independence and pursuit of employment aligned with their interests and abilities. 

“These extraordinary students have goals, interests, and dreams just like all college students. Each of them has made tremendous gains during the two years at AbleLight College, overcoming many obstacles and becoming fully immersed in their larger college community,” explained Keith Jones, AbleLight president and chief executive officer. “Their dreams are closer to their reality after their experiences and accomplishments at AbleLight College.” 

The 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that less than one-fourth of people with disabilities are employed and those employed are generally not in a role aligned with their personal interests. AbleLight College forges connections with area employers to create job shadow and employment opportunities for its enrollees that are aligned to both their interests and abilities. The variety of interests of this class include sports marketer, athletic trainer, entrepreneur/artist, graphic designer, theatre professional and animal trainer. 

AbleLight College offers an exceptional opportunity to learn and grow through a true college experience. The college offers life and work skills training, and the students enjoy the opportunity to attend traditional Concordia University classes alongside other students. They live on campus in a dorm and commute to nearby employment opportunities. Upon the completion of the two-year program, students walk the commencement stage at Concordia University’s undergraduate ceremony and receive a Certificate of Applied Learning. 

Since the college began in 2014, 42 students have completed the program. and due to its success, it was expanded to Concordia University’s Ann Arbor campus last fall. AbleLight College is admitting students for the next freshman class in the fall at both campuses. Students must be 18 and over with significant disabilities.

Students and families interested in learning more about AbleLight College are encouraged to contact, visit, and apply at

About AbleLight 

AbleLight is a national leader in pioneering life-changing services that empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive. Founded in 1904 in Wisconsin as a Christian Mission, AbleLight promotes independence and inclusion across the U.S. through comprehensive and individualized supports that include housing, employment, spiritual life, financial services, assistive technology and much more. For details, go to, like our Facebook page and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.