Community supports and services


College of Direct Support

Offers a nationwide, online, competency-based training curriculum to enhance the skills and knowledge of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), frontline supervisors, and managers supporting individuals with disabilities in community settings. CDS is offered in partnership with Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information, through Direct Course, which is a suite of online curricula for people providing services to individuals with disabilities that includes CDS and other curricula developed at other universities.

Staff: Kristin Dean, Shawn C Lawler, Amanda Ryan, Amy S Hewitt, Macdonald M Metzger, Claire E Benway, Susan N ONell, Nancy J McCulloh, Merrie L Haskins, Kelly Nye-Lengerman LGSW, Jody Hofer Van Ness, Nathan A Perry, Jerry W Smith, Sheryl A Larson, Jennifer A Hall-Lande, Connie J Burkhart

Collaborators: Elsevier

Increasing Friendships, Social Inclusion, and Community Participation of Persons With Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD)

Examines the effectiveness of two different approaches to supporting community participation - those based in human services agencies versus direct approaches to community members. Social inclusion outcomes will be compared for individuals randomly assigned to: 1. No intervention; 2. Training methods for residential services staff, and 3. Direct engagement of civic organizations, faith communities, chambers of commerce, and other community organizations.

Staff: Angela N Amado

Collaborators: Minnesota State Operated Community Services, Minnesota Department of Human Services

Profiles of Transformation Case Studies

Conducts six annual case studies of exemplary initiatives in transformation of community living or employment supports, and two annual case studies of exemplary Direct Support Professional workforce development initiatives. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and the Institute's Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC) will present "Moving Mountains" Awards for initiatives in Direct Support workforce development at periodic Reinventing Quality conferences.

Staff: Amy S Hewitt, Pamela M Walker, Sheryl A Larson

Collaborators: Center on Human Policy, Syracuse University, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Web Site on Person-Centered Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Provides resources and information on leading-edge, person-centered supports for use by individuals with disabilities, families, advocates, government officials, and service providers, in a wide variety of topical areas from across the country.

Staff: Kristin Dean, John D Westerman, Amy S Hewitt, Claire Cunningham, Roger Stancliffe, Nancy J McCulloh, Beth E Fondell, Angela N Amado, Jerry W Smith, Sheryl A Larson, John G Smith

Collaborators: National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, Human Services Research Institute

Self-Advocacy Online: Research and Development to Bridge the Digital Divide

Develops a model for making Web sites accessible for people with intellectual and related cognitive disabilities, and launches an educational and networking Web site for teens and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities targeted at those who participate in organized self-advocacy groups.

Staff: John D Westerman, Shawn C Lawler, Clifford L Poetz, Mark R Olson, Jeffrey A Nurick, Jerry W Smith, John G Smith, Connie J Burkhart

Collaborators: Self-Advocates Minnesota, HASTAC Initiative, MacArthur Foundation

RRTC on Employment: Think Work

Defines an evidence-based integrated model for employment support of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (IDD) that incorporates research and practice on effective practices and includes job seekers' support needs, culture, and personal and economic resources. The project will also implement a scalable, cost-effective intervention for improving employment outcomes through consistent delivery of effective practice using online training, data-based performance feedback, and facilitated peer-to-peer support. Research suggests that employment professionals who assist IDD do not consistently implement promising or evidence-based practices. Moreover, the evidence base for practices is often fragmented, and does not provide clear guidance to employment consultants about decisions regarding strategies and approaches that account for job seekers' individual support needs. The project uses mixed-method research that includes a qualitative study and a randomized controlled trial.

Staff: Amy S Hewitt

Collaborators: Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston