Below is a list of the RTC's currently active projects . For more information, see the contact person(s) for each project.
A Multi-Site Study of Employment Interventions
This quasi-experimental study will assess the relationship between customization strategies and outcomes and validate a training and mentorship approach for improving the skills of DSPs who serve as employment consultants or job developers in two states.
Active Support Interventions and Their Effect on Increased Participation of Persons with Severe Impairments
Active Support (AS) is an organizational intervention to enable direct support professionals (DSPs) in community settings to effectively support the participation of persons with ID/DD in everyday activities. Research in the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia shows that AS results in greater participation by people with ID/DD in domestic, community and social activities, as well as leading to increased functional skills and reduced depression and challenging behavior. This study will be the first US and the largest controlled study of AS ever undertaken.
Annual National and State-by-State Data Collection on Status and Trends in Medicaid Policy, Financing and Innovation
This study involves state data collection; analyses of Medicaid administrative data, and interviews of key state officials to maintain national and state-by-state statistics and policy-related information on the status, trends and innovations in Medicaid financing of residential employment and other community services and support for persons with ID/DD (approximately 85% of all service expenditures for persons with ID/DD).
College of Direct Support: National Online Training Program for Direct Support Professionals
The College of Direct Support (CDS) is a computer-assisted, competency-based, interactive multimedia training curriculum for direct support professionals in community settings.
Project Personnel: Kristin Dean
), Jennifer A Hall-Lande
), Sheryl A. Larson
), Shawn Lawler
), Nancy McCulloh
), Derek Nord
), Kelly Nye-Lengerman
), Susan N. O'Nell
), Bjorn Pederson
), Nathan Perry
), Pat Salmi
), Lori Sedlezky
), Jerry Smith
), Pam H Stenhjem
|College of Direct Support - The College of Direct Support (CDS) is a computer-assisted, competency-based, interactive multimedia training curriculum for direct support professionals in community settings.|
Effects of a Validated, Field-Tested, Self-Determination Training Program in a Randomized Trial Design
Previous research suggests that a number of ecological characteristics including organizational climate, policies and regulations, and the skills, attitudes, and knowledge of DSPs have a significant influence on the self-determination of adults with ID/DD. To date, there are no interventions in this area that meet the criteria for evidence-based practice. This investigation will be the first large scale study of the effects of a self-determination training intervention designed to support the self-determination of persons with ID/DD who have intensive support needs, utilizing a randomized control trial (RCT) design.
Evaluation of Project FIT, and Gateway to Adventure/Wilderness Inquiry
This project will apply Wilderness Inquiry’s (WI) Universal Program Participation Model to support whole families with young adult members with MR/DD as an alternative to respite support. It will a) assess outcomes in family-efficacy, family empowerment, family cohesion, family and individual’s future participation in outdoor activities, links with other families and community resources, b) identify indicators of high quality, socially integrated family outdoor recreation; c) identify support and training needed by families to use other community recreation resources; and d) identify new ways to improve training and other outdoor and wilderness organizations in supporting families with members with MR/DD.
Identification, Review, Evaluation and Compendium of Effective Measures, Instruments and Programs for Research on Inclusion, Self-Determination and Well-Being of Persons with ID/DD
This study provides comprehensive identification, review and assessment measures related to participation and community living and will create a compendium of the most valid, reliable, useful and widely used measures, instruments and outcome measurement programs.
Increasing Friendships, Social Inclusion and Community Participation of Persons with ID/DD
This study will examine the effectiveness of two different approaches to supporting community participation, those based in human services agencies versus direct involvement of community members. Social inclusion outcomes will be compared for individuals randomly assigned to: (a) no intervention; (b) training methods for residential services staff, and (c) direct engagement of civic organizations, faith communities, chambers of commerce, and other community organizations.
Minnesota DHS Systems Change and Capacity Building Through Research, Training, and Technical Assistance Projects
Conducts research, training and technical assistance activities that enhance Minnesota's capacity to support community living for individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness. Primary areas of focus include expanded professional competency in, and statewide use of, person-centered service approaches, effective Positive Behavior Support interventions, evidence-based practices promoting a recovery approach to mental illness, integrated models of residential services and supports for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and early intervention services for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Research and training activities will also be conducted to promote interdisciplinary teamwork among service professionals and improved use of employability data on people with disabilities by agencies and programs. In addition to the focus on professional development and system improvement is an emphasis on building capacity to support individuals leaving congregate care settings through use of competency-based training for families and others in their circles of support, as well as peer support leadership training for self-advocates.
Minnesota State Profile
This project assists Thomson Healthcare to prepare reports for the Minnesota Department of Human Services through assisting with collection of qualitative and quantitative data from the Department of Human Services and other key stakeholders, and writing draft sections of the State Long-Term Care Profile Tool regarding supports for people with developmental disabilities and people with brain injuries. Funded by a subcontract from Thompson Healthcare Inc.
National Direct Support Workforce Resource CenterThis project brings together in one place the nation's premier resources on the topic of Direct Support, with the goal of improving the quality, recruitment, and retention of the Direct Service workforce nationwide. A partnership of the Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC) and The Lewin Group, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, The Westchester Consulting Group, the Institute for the Future of Aging Services, and The Annapolis Coalition. Funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
| ||Generational Differences in the Workplace (PDF) - In this paper, four generations of American workers are described, generational differences and similarities are identified, and implications for employers are discussed. (2009); File Size: .99 MB|
National Evaluation of Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (subcontract from the Lewin Group)The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, regulation, and certification directly and indirectly affects the majority of the long-term care workforce. During FY2003, CMS took on a more prominent leadership role in addressing community-based long-term care workforce shortages through the solicitation of 7 to 10 Direct Service Community Workforce Demonstration projects. The Lewin Group, Institute for the Future of Aging Services (LFAS) and The Center on Community Living/Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota are performing an “Evaluation of Contract Demonstration to Improve the Direct Service Community Workforce.” This project requires a qualitative assessment of implementation readiness and progress to identify and describe Promising Practices, technical assistance to grantees on local evaluation designs, and the development of a quantitative evaluation design to assess demonstration program effectiveness.
National Residential Information Systems Project and Policy StudiesFor over 20 years, the National Residential Information Systems Project has been collecting and disseminating annually, national and state statistics on public and private residential services, Medicaid program utilization, expenditures, etc.
Personal Choice Network Evaluation StudyThis project evaluates the Personal Choice Network pilot project of Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. A collaborative project with Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Funded by Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres.
QualityMall.orgQuality Mall is a web site that gathers and disseminates information related to or useful in promoting the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. It especially focuses on promising person-centered practices and innovations.
| ||Quality Mall - Quality Mall is a web site that gathers and disseminates information related to or useful in promoting the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. It especially focuses on promising person-centered practices and innovations.|
Ramsey County (Minnesota) Physical Activity and Nutrition TrainingThis project provides training to Ramsey County’s Developmental Disability service team, county case managers, contracted vocational and residential providers, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities about the role each can play to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in living health lifestyles (focusing on physical activity and nutrition).
Self-Advocacy Online: Research and Development to Bridge the “Digital Divide”This research and development project will employ systematic analysis of specific web-based technology and learning strategies to accommodate relevant impairments to web use associated with ID. It will use ongoing internal and external assessments and refinements to create and refine a model for maximizing website accessibility for persons with ID and related cognitive disabilities (RCD). A model website will be designed and evaluated to establish, field-test, and exemplify features of website design to accommodate ID/RCD. The model will be employed to design and deliver information of high value to persons with ID/RCD by focusing on “self-advocacy.”
The Impact of Environment on the Self-Determination of Adults with ID/DDOver the past several years, many important systemic and environmental interventions intended to increase the self-determination of individuals with ID/DD have been implemented. These include: the provision of supports in non-institutional, less tightly regulated settings using the Home and Community-Based (HCBS) waiver; the use of “person-centered” approaches to service planning and delivery; training programs for service staff to enhance their ability to support consumer self-determination, and the use of individualized budgets that allow consumers/family members a voice in deciding on how funding available to support them will be spent. Each of these interventions have particular strengths and drawbacks in supporting self-determination. At this time, however, there is a lack of knowledge as to which of these approaches or combination of approaches best supports self-determination. Using both qualitative and quantitative methodology, this study will evaluate the impact of these each of these for systemic approaches along with a number of micro system level environmental factors on enhancing the self-determination of individuals with ID/DD.
Twin Cities and Zambia Disability ConnectionThis project partners with four local disability organizations (Arc Greater Twin Cities, Fraser, St. David's Child Development and Family Services, and Opportunity Partners) to provide advanced leadership training in disability advocacy, policy, and services for a delegation of nine government officials, missionaries, educators, and advocates from Zambia in southern Africa.
| ||Twin Cities Zambia Disability Connection - Final Report (PDF) - The Twin Cities Zambia Disability Connection was created to meet an acute need to develop more community services and supports for people with disabilities in Zambia. The program is a collaborative effort among several key partners, including the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI), Arc Greater Twin Cities (GTC), Opportunity Partners, Fraser, Inc., and several disability and community organizations in Zambia. This report provides an overview of the program, outlines preliminary outcomes, and identifies ongoing needs for individuals with disabilities in Zambia, which may provide the focus for future work. (2009); File Size: 10.7 MB|
Use of Web-based Technology to Increase Recreation, Leisure and Life Opportunities for Persons with ID/DD (LifePages.org)An interactive website is being developed to provide a “clearinghouse” for leisure, recreation and life opportunities for people with ID/DD. This site will be used to link people with activities of interest and with others who share those interests to improve the quality of people’s social lives, opportunities, choices, and satisfaction. To determine the impact of the website, a pre- and post-test comparison will be conducted on the nature and variety of leisure and recreation activities of a sample of persons from participating sites. Data will be collected through site visits to determine the degree of inter-agency sharing of transportation and staff, and community members’ volunteering of time and resources, and implementation challenges.
| ||LifePages.org - An interactive web site designed to help people with developmental disabilities to connect to area recreation and leisure opportunities and with other individuals with similar interests.|