That’s My IL: Stephanie Watt
March 23, 2015
This article is a part of the “That’s My IL” story series.
Stephanie Watt is a freshman student enrolled in the Dakota College Bottineau Passport Program offered at Minot State University. Stephanie is working towards a degree in Veterinary Medicine.
Stephanie was born in Idaho, but her father’s occupation in the military allowed the family to live around the world, in places like Japan and England. Stephanie spent her early grade school years at Lakenheath AFB in England, where she first started to notice her disability. In the 2nd grade, she would be taken out of the classroom to play learning games and take tests. She also noticed it would take her hours to finish her math homework. Stephanie would occasionally wander away from her classmates, which caused the entire Air Force base to be shut down while people searched for her. Around this time, she received the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder.
Stephanie and her family moved to Minot when she was in the 4th grade. Throughout her school years at Bel Air Elementary school, Ramstad Middle School, and Minot High School, Stephanie attended her Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, which granted her access to the resource room. This allowed Stephanie to have readers for tests and extra time to finish homework. While attending Minot High, Stephanie had the opportunity to take part in Independence, Inc.’s BEYOND Program. This youth transition program promotes self-advocacy, self-determination, and disability pride. Stephanie enjoyed the program and remembers learning about IEPs, careers, community resources, and support systems.
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Independence, Inc. is a Resource Center for Independent Living. We are a private, nonprofit corporation that provides services to maximize the independence of individuals with disabilities. We are funded by the Department of Education, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, fee-for-services programs, and private donations.
We are a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provide an array of independent living services . Our services are free of charge to individuals requesting them.
Independence, Inc. serves an eleven-county area in northwestern North Dakota including: Bottineau, Burke, Divide, McHenry, McKenzie, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville, Rolette, Ward and Williams counties.
Since 1995, Independence Inc. has worked to make Minot and the surrounding counties a better place to live, work and play for people with disabilities
Independence, Inc. provides a variety of empowerment and community services aimed at empowering people with disabilities to maintain and increase their independence within the community. Our core services include:
- Information and Referral
- Individual Advocacy
- Independent Living Skills Training
- Systems Advocacy
- Peer Mentoring
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