New Research Grants Awarded for Supporting People with Psychiatric Disabilities and Autism

October 30, 2019

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) at ACL has awarded several new grants to support people with psychiatric disabilities and Autism. 

Below are highlights of some of the various projects set to begin:

  • Efficacy of the ASD Screening and Parent ENgagement (ASPEN) Intervention Program in Low-Resource Communities -- Awarded to Texas State University ($200,000 a year for a period of three years) in partnership with community agencies in the central Texas region to enhance the professional capacity for screening of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and implement and assess the efficacy of a parent education and coaching intervention. The goal of this project is to examine the efficacy of the ASD Screening and Parent ENgagement (ASPEN) intervention, a culturally-informed parent-mediated intervention program when delivered to caregivers and children at risk for ASD who reside in low-resource households. Expected outcomes include: 1) the ASPEN intervention will be culturally and linguistically-informed; 2) the ASPEN intervention will be acceptable, feasible, and efficacious in low-resource communities; 3) children at risk for ASD who participate in the intervention will exhibit significant gains in social communication and reduction in challenging behavior; and 4) caregivers who receive the intervention will exhibit significant gains in knowledge and skills related to their child’s development and report significant reductions in parenting stress.
  • The Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS) - Scaling-up! -- Awarded to the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute ($200,000 a year for a period of five years). Through a partnership with previous NIDILRR project participants, this project will follow standard implementation guidelines to scale-up OASIS to the broader community. This will focus on NIDILRR’s outcome domains of community living and participation by training previous NIDILRR-funded OASIS service providers to train others (train-the-trainer) to effectively use the OASIS model to teach parents to improve the child’s level of independence and overall well-being within the community. Anticipated outcomes of this project include: increasing 1) parent and child access to evidence-based practice, 2) the number of individuals at key agencies that serve as OASIS trainers, and 3) the number of OASIS coaches at agencies serving children with autism and their families, as well as the development of a web-based portal for agencies, coaches, and families to access.
  • Post-Doctoral Research Training Program to Advance Competitive Integrated Employment for people with Psychiatric Disabilities -- Awarded to Yale University's Program for Recovery and Community Health ($150,000 a year for a period of five years) in partnership with the State of Connecticut Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Labor, and Bureau of Rehabilitation Services to support the establishment of a national program of excellence for postdoctoral training in recovery-oriented research to advance competitive integrated employment among persons with psychiatric disabilities. This program will also provide training and mentoring to, and graduate, a cadre of three qualified researchers who will learn how to design, conduct, and disseminate rigorous, innovative, scientifically meritorious, and influential research on effective strategies for successfully employing persons with psychiatric disabilities in competitive integrated work settings.
  • Helping Young Adults Succeed at Work and School Through IPS Supported Employment -- Awarded to Westat ($200,000 a year for a period of three years) to evaluate the effectiveness of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for young adults with psychiatric disabilities, a priority population in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. IPS, an evidence-based model, has not yet been adequately studied in this population. In collaboration with the IPS Learning Community (a network comprised of state vocational rehabilitation and mental health leaders, clients, and others from 24 states and 300 IPS programs), Westat will conduct a mixed-methods, prospective, one-year cohort study of 150 young adults (ages 16-24) with psychiatric disabilities enrolled in 10 established IPS programs in five geographically diverse states.

Within ACL, NIDILRR works to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community; and to expand society's capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for people with disabilities. NIDILRR conducts its work through grants that support research and development.



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Last modified on 10/30/2019


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