Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

The VR system alone has traditionally been unable to adequately identify and address the persistent, pervasive, multi-layered economic, and disability-related barriers to employment for marginalized groups with disabilities (Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Education, 2014). To strategically remedy the existing support gaps and promote greater availability of comprehensive VR services (e.g., pre-employment transition, transition, individual placement and support model of supported employment, and customized VR services), the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (DRDS), Southern University, Baton Rouge (SUBR), LA (Congressional District six) is requesting for five-year (2015-2020) funding (CFDA No. 84.264F) of the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (TC): Educate, Empower, and Employ (E3) (Dr. Madan M. Kundu, Project Director, 0.33 FTE). The Goal of Project E3 is to provide State VR agencies and their partners with the skills and competencies needed to effectively and efficiently address barriers to competitive integrated employment and community integration encountered by persons with disabilities from economically disadvantaged TC and high-leverage groups with national applicability. Objectives 1: To involve all 80 state VR agencies for development of knowledge and selection of TC. Objective 2: To collaboratively design modules and strategies (field-based, in-office, state-of-the art IT Platform, and two communities of practice) for provision of intensive, targeted, and general TA and coordination activities to VR stakeholders serving economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities. Objective 3: To provide TA to state VR agencies, their partners, and employers that is designed to maximize community support services in TC, complement VR services, and promote competitive integrated employment consistent with informed choice for economically disadvantaged individuals with disabilities from high-leverage groups of national applicability. Objective 4: To conduct formative-summative evaluations to measure and track effectiveness of on-going TA, training, and alliance building activities. The final outcome of Project E3 will be two-fold: (1) during Years 4-5, participating VR agencies will attain RSA Performance Indicator 1.2 Percent of Employment Outcome (55.8% for General and Combined Agencies) for the targeted high leverage populations; and (2) on-going, intensive, and evidence based technical assistance and coordination activities will involve VR and their partnering stakeholders in all nine Census Divisions. The DRDS at SUBR, with a long history of collaborative federal project administration, is well prepared to establish close collaborations with the CSAVR, the NCSAB, and other TA Centers and relevant programs within the Departments of Education, Labor, and Commerce. Project E3, a partnership of SUBR, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), UW-Stout, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and George Washington University, is a strategic investment in the social and economic development of persons with disabilities in TC. Formative and summative evaluations (with active involvement of Advisory Council and Governing Board) will be conducted via the collection and analysis of qualitative and qualitative data. The major collaborators have been engaged in productive federally funded endeavors for the past four decades as a vital of VR and employment communities. Therefore, the future of the Project E3 activities is secured beyond the project period.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date10/1/159/30/17

Funding

  • Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College: $193,873.00

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