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Student Accessibility Center

The USoar Program at UNF

What is USoar?

The University of North Florida College of Education and Human Services proudly introduces USoar, an inclusive postsecondary education program designed for UNF students with intellectual disabilities (ID). With a generous $1.5 million three-and-a-half-year grant from the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities (FCSUA), USoar is dedicated to offering comprehensive support and enriching opportunities to a cohort of up to 20 students.

USoar Contact Information

For inquiries and further information regarding the USoar program at UNF, please email 

As a pillar of community and inclusion in northeast Florida, we are excited to pioneer an inclusive program that targets to support a unique population with growing needs in our Jacksonville community.
- Dr. Debbie Reed and Dr. Tara Frazier, grant principal investigators.

What We Do

Our Mission

USoar’s mission is to empower students with intellectual disabilities, fostering their academic, social, and professional growth in an inclusive and supportive environment. The USoar program is unique to UNF and provides resources for USoar program participants on campus. Usoar focuses on five program domains:

  • Self-determination
  • Academic enrichment
  • Campus/community engagement
  • Independence
  • Career development

USoar aims to help students achieve competency in these important domains for use both within and outside the college campus setting, preparing them for life beyond UNF. Intellectual disabilities (ID) affects individuals in different ways, which is why USoar is not a one-size fits all program; program supports are designed to meet the individual needs of each student. While participation in USoar is not mandatory, students are required to follow program expectations. For more information about USoar program expectations, please see “Applying to USoar” (hyperlink to page).

The USoar Community

In addition to academic support, USoar prides itself on offering opportunities to connect with other students on campus and with individuals/organizations in the Jacksonville community.

USoar Events

Body: Members of the USoar program can interact with like-minded students in the program as well as with UNF students and form long-lasting friendships through social events hosted by USoar staff. Movie nights, beach trips, game afternoons, and crafting events are just a few of the fun events that USoar students can attend alongside other UNF students!

Jacksonville Connections

USoar’s connections with organizations outside UNF provides students opportunities to engage with the community. These opportunities are critical learning experiences for USoar students as well as the individuals they engage with. Volunteering, career fairs, and other types of community involvement encourage USoar students to become active and contributing members of the surrounding Jacksonville area.

Preparing for Transition

How can students prepare now for the transition to college?

Transitioning from high school to college can be a challenge for any student. The changes can be daunting and intimidating, but there are some things that can be done before students start their first semester in college that can help prepare them for life in postsecondary education!

  • Planning and Time Management
    • Start using digital and physical planners to organize what needs to be done each week, when things are being done, and other important appointments or events
    • Practice setting alarms and reminders. Instead of relying on parents or guardians to wake up in the morning, practice setting your own alarms to wake up independently
    • Practice checking emails at least 1-2 times every day
  • Study Skills and Taking Notes
    • Practice developing study skills and strategies
    • Write notes on important information during class
    • Complete all readings and review materials before class
    • Organize all your notes to make them easy to find
    • Practice breaking down large or difficult assignments or projects into smaller, more manageable parts
  • Stress Management
    • Find things that you enjoy doing
    • Practice communicating when things become too overwhelming
    • Practice making time to relax and do something to take care of yourself
    • Practice taking breaks to re-energize and refresh
  • Laundry
    • Wash and dry laundry without assistance of others
    • Fold and put away your own laundry
  • Cooking
    • Learn some easy-to-prepare recipes to make your own meals
    • Know how to use ovens and stoves
    • Practice food safety (expiration dates, how to store common foods, etc.)
  • Cleaning
    • Keep your personal living space clean!
    • Take out the trash, clean any messes you notice or create, keep your room and working space tidy, do laundry, wash dishes
  • Exercise/Sleep
    • Practice going for walks/runs while tracking your progress
    • Join a club or sport that you enjoy
    • Setting alarms and reminders to wind down each night without depending on electronics
    • Practice appropriate/healthy digital use

Applying to Usoar

How to Apply

To be considered for the USoar program, the following is required:

  • Students must submit a completed USoar student application packet (incomplete packets will not be eligible for program admission)
  • Students must be registered with the Student Accessibility Center, with current documentation of their intellectual disability diagnosis. For definition of intellectual disability please see AAIDD Defining Criteria for Intellectual Disability.
  • Students must successfully complete an interview with USoar admissions committee
  • Students must maintain and follow all USoar program expectations and requirements

*Please note applications are not open at this time; however, please continue to check this page for updates on application procedures and availability