Central to this proposal is the commitment to individualized culturally sensitive supports and services, self determination and family supports. The program areas of the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), 1) early childhood and family, 2) school years, 3) transition to community life, and, 4) adult and career, demonstrate the overall life cycle approach that has been adopted by this University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Program (UCEDD). The core areas of training, supports and services, applied research, technical assistance and dissemination reflect the key activities of the ICI while the program areas outline the major life areas for persons with disabilities.
The major goals for this application include: 1) the design and development of training for consumers, family members, educators, professionals and direct support professionals, employers and the general public in areas of self determination, school and community inclusion and natural supports; 2) the promotion of supports and services leading to independence, productivity, inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities into typical and age appropriate settings; 3) the provision of technical assistance to community programs and services toward the delivery of consumer and family focused services and supports; 4) the identification of practices and approaches through applied research that will support the concepts of self determination, person centered planning, culturally competent supports, family supports and real work for persons with disabilities; and, 5) the dissemination of materials documenting approaches and practices leading to full community membership for persons with disabilities and their families.
The impact of this project grant is reflected through the development of supports and services, in the Commonwealth and nationally, that enable persons with disabilities to be involved, make choices, exercise control and reach their individual goals within a system of supports that foster personal growth and inclusion for consumers and families of persons with disabilities. The activities outlined 1) increase the local capacity of programs and providers; 2) address the growing concerns of persons waiting for or seeking different services; 3) expand the opportunity for persons from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to benefit from a full range of supports and services; and, 4) identify, document and disseminate effective programs and practices that lead to greater self determination and community inclusion for persons with disabilities of all ages.