Seabrooks-Blackmore prepares for retirement after years of working in education, leadership and advocacy.

By Drexler James

Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore

Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore

Professor Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore, the executive director of the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities (FCSUA), has announced her retirement, effective on April 1. She has been with FCSUA since 2019, and during her tenure at the University of Central Florida, has facilitated an impressive increase of Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Programs (FPCTPs) for students with intellectual disabilities at Florida universities, state colleges and technical colleges.

Seabrooks-Blackmore’s experiences and areas of expertise propelled her success in the role of executive director for FCSUA. Before coming to UCF, she had years of involvement with adolescents and adults with disabilities, their teachers, agency workers and their families as these students began their transitions to adulthood.

FCSUA oversees the Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP) application and approval process for Florida institutions of higher education. Seabrooks-Blackmore’s commitment to ensuring students with unique abilities have equal access to campus to gain competency in independent living, experiential postsecondary education with their same-age peers, along with equal access to employment opportunities, helped her lead a team at UCF and stakeholders across the state.

When she became executive director in 2019, FCSUA had 13 approved programs. Within her first year, Seabrooks-Blackmore led FCSUA to increase the number of approved programs to 19 programs. To date, FCSUA boasts 28 state-approved programs at universities, state colleges, and technical colleges, resulting in Florida ranking second in the number of transition programs in a state. Under her leadership, FCSUA established and refined criteria for FPCTP approval, scholarship awards for eligible students to attend approved programs, grant awards to promote new program development and existing program enhancements, and accountability requirements associated with these opportunities.

Prior to her experience in higher education, Seabrooks-Blackmore spent many years in public school classrooms as a special educator and school counselor, experiences that would bode well for her as a faculty member in teacher education and disability services. She completed a Ph.D. in Special Education at Florida State University, where she had leadership roles on several grants that focused on college students with disabilities and students from underrepresented groups.

In every setting in which she worked, Seabrooks-Blackmore’s core value of student-centered education was a hallmark of her teaching and leadership. Before joining the faculty at UCF, she was chair of the Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education Department at the University of North Florida. There, she assisted in establishing the first postsecondary education program for college-age students with intellectual disabilities at a public university in Florida. In addition, she has been a faculty member at West Texas A&M University and the University of North Texas at Dallas.

Seabrooks-Blackmore has been active in state and federal professional organizations, and because of her affiliations, has served as an officer, presented at conferences, and served on many policy and practice committees. She was the recipient of the Florida Division on Transition and Career Development Debra Husted Memorial Award because of her exemplary service to students with disabilities and the professionals who teach and support them.

Seabrooks-Blackmore is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and she plans to return to spend time with family and friends.