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Community-Based Education

About Our Program

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Who We Serve

Our Adaptive Learning Community-Based Education program has earned recognition across the Peninsula and South Bay as a leading provider of non-credit leisure education, including drawing and painting, writing, stress reduction and more. Our instructors have a longstanding reputation for academic excellence, and they are committed to helping students succeed at every stage of adulthood.

Our mission is to emphasize inclusion and maximize the cognitive, physical, emotional and social potential for each individual. These lifelong learning classes are geared to individuals with disabilities and seniors in retirement, but are open to all adults.

Older Adults and Veterans with Disabilities

Our students range in the age of 55-95 years old or are disabled veterans who are in-patients or out-patients at the local Veterans Administration Medical Center in Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

The students' disabilities are often multiple and range from strokes, heart conditions, arthritis and diabetes to mobility, visual and hearing impairments. Additional disabilities may include brain and/or spine injury, orthopedic and psychological disabilities.

Staying Active and Involved

The program promotes the physical, intellectual and social well-being of these adults, by helping them to stay active and involved in community life.

To accomplish this goal, instruction and classroom activities are planned to meet student needs and interests. All classes are tailored to the capabilities of disabled adults.

Course Descriptions

Art Appreciation

Explore past and present artists and trends through viewing and discussion of varied works.

Music Appreciation

Increase your enjoyment of different music genres and learn the art of listening. Learn about different composers, varieties of music as well as the core elements and historical foundations of music.

World News Discussion

Gain a deeper knowledge of world news by examining turning points in history and comparing them with current events. Through careful appraisal, deepen your understanding of how these events impact our lives.

Current Events

Examine current news from a variety of media sources with a critical eye. Debate the merits of candidates, causes, policies and legislation. Probe beyond the headlines to gain a deeper understanding of local, national and international events.

Travel Study

No need to purchase plane tickets. Explore the wonders, arts, diverse cultures and religious customs of people across the globe. Share your own travel experiences.

Social Change

Analyze important changes in society and their impacts on how we think, live and work today. Historical periods for consideration include the dawn of the 20th Century and the mechanical age as well as the periods before and after our world wars.

Verbal Expression

Hone your creative communication skills through poetry, narrative and other expressive modes. Learn how to engage constructively with family members and in social and work situations.

Creative Writing

Open a window into your deepest creative self. Share your life experiences through memoir and uncover your hidden literary potential.


From ceramics to paper arts, gain introduction to a variety of media in order to extend and challenge your creative capacities.

Drawing and Painting

Master basic drawing and painting by using various types of media, including charcoal, pastel and watercolor. Research various techniques to create two-dimensional art to be proud of.

Creative Self Expression

Immerse yourself in a range of activities that stimulate your creative abilities, including adapted drama, dance, art and writing. 

Lip Reading

Intended for the hard-of-hearing individual to learn ways to improve speech understanding, this class is also for those who have difficulty listening to speech in noisy settings or listening to someone with a challenging speaking style. Class will include discussions about various aspects of hearing, speech production, hearing loss and technology.

Relaxation Techniques

Find relaxation techniques and exercises that work best for you to improve health and well-being, Learn how to unwind and release mental and physical tension.

Class Locations

We serve communities in both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, including Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View,  Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, and Half Moon Bay. See our list of class locations within your community.


For More Information

Please contact Jackie Lauese at 650.949.7103 or email

Mailing address:
Disability Resource Center
Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022-4599


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We're Here to Help!

Community-Based Education


Student Resources Center, Building 5400

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Our Mission & Values

Maximizing cognitive, physical, emotional and social potential for all individuals is central to what we do. Learn more about the mission and values o program.