New UCEDD Grants Address Community Transitions, Mental Health

September 29, 2021

ACL is announcing a number of new grants to University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDDs), including:

  • Community-based transition planning and implementation grants to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with transitions, including from school to college or work in the community and from pediatric to adult health care providers.
  • National Training Initiative grants to help states more effectively address barriers experienced by people with IDD and co-occurring mental/behavioral health issues.

Community-Based Transitions Planning and Implementation Grants

Community-based transition grants seek to address many of the most common barriers to community living and competitive integrated employment faced by youth and adults with IDD during important transitions, including the transitions to employment, post-secondary education, adult health care, and parenthood.

ACL is awarding a total of approximately $500,000 in one-year planning grants to five UCEDDs. UCEDDs will lead partnerships that include community-based service providers, local businesses and/or government, self-advocacy organizations, and youth and adults with IDD. Each partnership will conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of the transition services in their state and will deliver by the end of the project year an actionable plan with ready-to-implement solutions.

ACL also is awarding a total of approximately $3 million in implementation grants over three years to five UCEDDs that received planning grants last year to move forward with their work.

National Training Initiative to Support People with IDD Experiencing Co-Occurring Mental/Behavioral Health Issues

ACL is awarding five UCEDDs a total of approximately $2.75 million in National Training Initiative grants over five years. The funding will be used to provide training to states with the goal of more effectively addressing barriers experienced by the IDD population with co-occurring mental/behavioral health issues.

These grants will build on the work of ACL's National Training Center for Mental Health and IDD with a specific focus on training multi-disciplinary teams comprised of state agency staff, program administrators, service providers, and other relevant stakeholders to create more seamless cross-systems collaboration.

Grant Recipients

Community-Based Transitions Planning Grants:

  • The University of South Carolina will develop a plan for a pilot to strengthen systems that promote independent living opportunities for youth and adults with IDD.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University will develop an implementation plan focused on addressing well-being for youth and young adults with IDD between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • The University of Oregon will develop a plan to improve the pre-employment skills and experiences of adolescents with IDD, with a specific focus on rural settings and communities affected by poverty.
  • The University of Southern California will plan a pilot for youth and young adults with IDD in an underserved and racially and ethnically diverse Los Angeles community that addresses both transfer of medical care as well as transition into community-based services and supports to promote independent living and employment.
  • The University of Massachusetts, Boston will convene stakeholders to develop a plan for improving the transition from school to work for students with IDD.

Community-Based Transitions Implementation Grants:

  • The University of Georgia's College Transition Partnership seeks to increase the proportion of college graduates with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are either employed in careers related to their college majors with wages comparable to other college graduates in their field, or are enrolled in a graduate school in their field
  • Georgetown University's "Transition Implementation Partnership DC: Supports of Parents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities" will implement a pilot that is focused on the unique interests and needs of parents with IDD and cross-system changes that will enable them to support their children with agency throughout their lives.
  • The University of Kansas Center for Research will implement a pilot focused on enhancing transitions to community living and competitive and integrated employment for youth and adults with IDD.
  • The University of Iowa's Transition Resources for Adult Care (TRAC) for Health is to implement planned models for transition to comprehensive adult healthcare for people with IDD that were designed by individuals as critical partners in planning, providing quality healthcare, and promoting life in the community.
  • The University of Wisconsin's Wisconsin Integrated Transition Implementation Project will implement a pilot for youth and adults with IDD in medically underserved Wisconsin communities to achieve coordinated access to adult health care as well as educational, vocational, and other services that support community living.

National Training Initiative to Support People with IDD Experiencing Co-Occurring Mental/Behavioral Health Issues

  • The University of Illinois Chicago UCEDD, in collaboration with the UIC Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy will convene multi-disciplinary teams of IDD and mental and behavioral health state agency personnel and representatives of other partner agencies, with the goal of developing and implementing a shared training infrastructure tailored to Illinois’ needs. The project also aims to improve coordination between the two agencies and other partners around jointly-provided services.
  • The Utah State University UCEDD (Institute for Disability Research, Policy, & Practice) will develop and implement a coordinated, culturally responsive, trauma-informed cross-systems training plan to increase the capacity of direct support professionals and case managers/support coordinators to meet the needs of people with IDD experiencing mental health issues in Utah.
  • The University of Kentucky's Kentucky Mental Health, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Training Initiative will strengthen training infrastructure of multidisciplinary professionals serving the target population of Kentuckians with co-occurring mental health  and IDD. The target training population includes state agencies, medical providers, community mental health centers and providers, direct service providers, LEND trainees, families, and individuals. The training will seek to increase understanding and improve implementation of person-centered, culturally relevant services and referral systems.
  • The Ohio State University's Nisonger Center aims to increase understanding of the landscape of mental health treatment and support in Ohio and design a training process to ensure an improved cross-agency collaboration for adults with IDD and mental health disability over the five-year project.
  • The University of Alaska, Anchorage's Alaska UCEDD Training Initiative to Support People with Co-Occurring IDD and MH Disabilities seeks to improve services and supports for people with co-occurring ID/DD and mental health that are consistent with the Alaska DD vision.

Last modified on 09/29/2021


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