Transition and Access Program (TAP)

TAP, which began in 2012, provides a four-year college experience for indivduals with mild to moderate intellectual or developmental disabilities.  Students live in the dorms, attend classes, engage in vocational internships and participate in an active social life. The program outcomes include vocational skills, social competence and self-determination, and independent community living. Students also receive direct instruction in executive functioning.  Upon completion of the program requirements, students earn a certificate of achievement.

Transition Access Program at UC CECH

TAP is a Comprehensive Transition Postsecondary Program (CTP), which means eligible students may receive funding from the Federal Pell GrantFederal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study programs. A CTP program is: 1) a degree, certificate, or non-degree program; 2) located at an accredited institution; 3) designed to support students with intellectual disabilities (ID) who are seeking to continue academic, career and technical, and independent living instruction in order to obtain employment.

Additional scholarship and grant opportunities may be found at:

TAP students attend classes in university classrooms that are rigorous, but manageable, promote critical thinking, and provide accommodation when necessary.

UC TAP students sit together in a classroom

In addition to traditional courses, the TAP curriculum also includes:

  • Beginning Community Access
  • University Orientation
  • Basics of Banking
  • Current Events
  • Employment Exploration
  • Basic Communication Skills
  • Residential Housing I
  • Preparation and Planning

TAP in the News


TAP students in a UC dorm room

Each student maintains a daily and weekly schedule, coordinated using iTouch, iPad, and iPhone, and guided by the TAP director, graduate assistants, and residential staff. Students set personal and career goals, develop a deep understanding for their field, and participate in paid internships with area businesses, non-profits and governmental organizations.

TAP envisions a world where young adults with intellectual disabilities are afforded the option of post-secondary education. We are emerging as a leader in creating authentic inclusive living-learning experience that build career skills, academic achievement, personal responsibility, interpersonal competence, and a promising future. The goal is for every student to become an independent adult and enjoy a satisfying quality of life.

TAP gained national recognition when the innovative program was featured in a 2013 episode of Glee as Down Syndrome student Becky Jackson graduated and elected to attend the University of Cincinnati in TAP.

For more information, contact

To apply for the 2018-19 Academic year

Please complete and submit the following forms:

Please email completed application and forms to
or mail to:
University of Cincinnati
Director, Transition and Access Program
PO Box 210022
Cincinnati, OH 45221