Employment and workforce development
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
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.
Putting Faith to Work
Provides customized training, tools, and technical assistance to specific Minnesota faith communities, building their capacity to use best practices in employment and career development with their members with disabilities. Putting Faith to Work will utilize person-centered employment planning tools within the faith communities to connect participating members with disabilities to quality employment opportunities, and then enhance the communities' ability to provide other appropriate, individualized supports to those individuals. The project expands the reach of what faith communities do so well: acknowledge the gifts and needs of their members, maintain strong community connections, and address local community needs. This model supplements, rather than replaces, other service providers or employment agencies, contributing to development of a fuller range of formal and informal employment supports in local communities. The work in Minnesota is part of the larger Putting Faith to Work project based at the [Vanderbilt Kennedy Center](http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/site/ucedd/).
Collaborators: Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University, Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky, Easter Lutheran Church, Basilica of Saint Mary, The, St Odilia Catholic Church, Unity Church-Unitarian
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