2005 - 06 Minigrantees (11/05 - 10/06)

November 1, 2005

2005 - 06 NSIP Awardees
Center Participant and Minigrant Summaries
Grant Period: November 1, 2005 - October 31, 2006

Primary Initiative: The emphasis of this minigrant will be to generate and implement strategies that will result in measurable increases in the application, enrollment, and retention of service members and volunteers with disabilities by the UCEDD/LEND Program in partnership with their respective State Commissions and /or CNCS State Offices.

Grant Summaries:
 
Maine: Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies at the University of Maine; Janet May, 207-581-1383, janet.may@umit.maine.edu

The goal of the Access Community Volunteers (ACV) project is to develop and build networks to expand participation in volunteer opportunities by people who have developmental disabilities within AmeriCorps programs in Maine. The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) at The University of Maine will accomplish this goal in partnership with the Maine Commission for Community Service (MCCS), Maine's AmeriCorps programs, and community service providers that provide supports to individuals who have developmental disabilities.

The goal will be achieved through the following activities: development of a Community Service Interest Inventory (CSII) appropriate for use with individuals with developmental disabilities; outreach to community service providers and self-advocacy organizations to inform them of the project and seek their participation; conduct the Community Service Interest Inventory with participating organizations in order to determine the interests of potential participants with developmental disabilities; complete an inventory of the AmeriCorps programs to identify the range of the projects and potential for volunteer placement and activities; and, in collaboration with MCCS, and participating organizations, match the volunteers to volunteer opportunities in their communities. Individuals with developmental disabilities will be engaged with other volunteers and community service providers will collaborate to provide support to the individuals as appropriate.

Outcomes:
1. Development and dissemination of a Community Service Interest Inventory.
2. Placement of 10 individuals with developmental disabilities in volunteer or member positions within AmeriCorps projects.
3. Increased knowledge among AmeriCorps projects regarding the recruitment and accommodation of people with disabilities as volunteers and members.
4. Increased knowledge among community providers of services and supports to individuals with disabilities regarding AmeriCorps and community-based volunteering.
5. Development of a plan with MCCS to sustain and expand these activities when the contract period ends.
 
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Minnesota: Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota; Julia Socha, 612-624-2008, washe004@umn.edu ; and Pam Stenhjem, 612-625-3863, huntx010@umn.edu
 
With 60,000 students, an extensive Disability Services office providing support to students, staff/faculty with a wide range of disabilities, as well as five coordinate campuses (Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston, Morris, Rochester), the University of Minnesota is an excellent site to implement large scale recruitment and enrollment of individuals with disabilities into AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps.
ICI-UMN, in collaboration with ServeMinnesota, DS, DS-ES, and the Senior Corps RSVP program will develop, market, and implement a comprehensive series of recruitment activities focused on substantially increasing the number of individuals with disabilities from the UMN applying for and being accepted into AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps. Our primary audience includes current and prospective students with disabilities as well as staff/faculty with disabilities over the age of 55 on all five UMN coordinate campuses. The median age of faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota is increasing and as a result, the clientele of Disability Services is advancing in age as well. However, the number of activities focused on staff/faculty will be less than that for students due to a much lower number of staff/faculty over the age of 55 with disabilities as compared to the number of students with disabilities on campuses. Recruitment strategies will include a wide array of activities designed to inform and engage potential applicants to these three programs. Recruitment activities include:

  • Breeze Web cast presentations that are recorded and archived for real time access anywhere, anytime, by anyone; on-campus, in-person recruitment sessions for students, staff/faculty; class presentations for students graduating in the fields of Special Education, Education Work, Community, & Family Education, Social Work, etc.; provision of an open house during student orientation days; and presentations for staff/faulty on Senior Corps.
  • ICI-UMN will work with the Division of Rehabilitation Services, the Minnesota Department of Education, the PACER Center C-3 project, and Senior Corps RSVP to disseminate information state-wide about these initiatives. ICI-UMN will supplement technical assistance provided by ServeMinnesota to prospective and current students, staff/faculty as well as others across the state of Minnesota interested in applying for AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps programs.
  • Information on ICI-UMNs Youthhood Website (http://www.youthhood.org) which includes extensive references to community service and service learning will also be shared, and ICI-UMN will update the Minnesota Service Inclusion Project (MSIP) Web site to reflect the current project to include updated information on AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps.
  • Project staff will attend the National Service Inclusion Conferences in both 2005 and 2006 and at least one regional/statewide training.
  • Finally, in-kind contributions will be provided through time donated by collaborative partners during presentations, recruitment efforts, and through marketing distribution and referrals. DS and DS-ES will also provide accommodations as needed on an individualized basis for all participants as an in-kind contribution.
 


Nevada: Research and Educational Planning Center at the University of Nevada Reno; Mary Bryant, 775-784-4921, mhbryant@unr.edu
 
Outcome: A model system will be in place for Nevada AmeriCorps projects to recruit and accommodate people with disabilities.

Activities:

  • Attend "A Meaningful Place for All" National Conference on Disability Inclusion & National Service in Alexandria, VA.
  • Develop web presence of viability of national and community service for people with disabilities on appropriate websites (UCED, People First of Nevada, etc.).
  • Contract with nationally-known speaker Kathie Snow to inspire project directors for kick-off recruitment drive outlined in activities 4, 5 & 6.
  • Site visits to 4 AmeriCorps interested project sites to review facility, plan placement opportunities and design potentially needed accommodations.
  • Outreach to disability organizations, employment service providers and school districts to recruit a minimum of 4 interested and qualified people with disabilities to become AmeriCorps members.
  • Provide ongoing support to AmeriCorps projects to interview qualified candidates with disabilities and to accommodate a minimum of 4 new members with disabilities, including assistance in developing resources as needed (job coaches. physical accommodations, assistive technology devices, personal care, etc.).


New Hampshire: Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire; Mary Schuh, 603-228-2084, mary.schuh@unh.edu; and Kathleen Sgambati, sgambati@metrocast.net

Activity #1: Provide training and education to AmeriCorp leadership, high school guidance counselors, and municipal leaders on topics related to enrolling and supporting individuals with disabilities.
Outcome: Generic AmeriCorp recruitment strategies will include recruiting and supporting members with disabilities. An increase of 20% of members with disabilities will result.
Activity #2: Develop a data base of AmeriCorp volunteers with disabilities who can provide training and mentorship to new volunteers with disabilities.
Outcome: Mentorship will result in successful AmeriCorp placement of the 20% new members with disabilities.

Activity #3: Explore and develop supports for independent living options for volunteers with disabilities who do not have access to AmeriCorp group supported living opportunities.
Outcome: A menu of potential supports and strategies including vocational rehabilitation and health and human service resources will be available to support volunteers with disabilities living independently. These resources will be assembled and disseminated to AmeriCorps Programs.

Activity #4: Explore and develop opportunities within colleges and technical institutions to enroll AmeriCorp volunteers in meaningful roles in the system of long-term care.
Outcome: National service opportunities will expand to include supporting individuals with long-term care needs as components of the program through senior corp and service learning.

Activity #5: Work with AmeriCorp leadership to achieve sustainability of program activities through the adaptation of program materials and database of AmeriCorp volunteers with disabilities to serve as mentors and trainers.
Outcome: Individuals with disabilities are included and supported through generic recruitment and program strategies.
 

Ohio: Nisonger Center at the Ohio State University; Dr. Tom Fish, (614) 292-3727, fish.1@osu.edu and Jillian Ober, ober.7@osu.edu

The purpose of this project is to closely collaborate with the OCSC and three targeted AmeriCorps programs (two rural and one urban) to implement a number of recruitment and capacity building activities. These activities will involve the participation of current members (with and without disabilities) in the recruitment of members and volunteers with disabilities. We have had extensive discussions with our state commission and three proposed project sites about the nature and scope of project All Aboard.

Projected Outcomes:

  • 12 to18 volunteers with disabilities and subsequent 3 to 6 members by the end of the project.
  • Project staff will work with AmeriCorps program directors to identify individual members, who, for the purpose of this project, will be referred to as Recruitment Coordinators. When and if possible, we would like to engage current members with disabilities as Recruitment Coordinators.
  • A training curriculum for Recruitment Coordinators, comprised of three separate components, will be developed by All Aboard staff. This curriculum will take into account the individual learning styles and other accommodation needs of the Recruitment Coordinators.
  • As a result of their participation in All Aboard, Recruitment Coordinators will learn how to work with community agencies and access community resources, develop and market the project, and support volunteers and fellow members. They will also fulfill a portion of their duty to help build organizational capacity by recruiting volunteers.
  • Project staff will identify key local disability organizations, such as independent living centers, university disability service departments, and related vocational/social service programs, and establish strategies for outreach to these disability organizations.
  • Recruitment Coordinators will implement an individualized recruitment plan with interested organizations that will be developed in concert with project staff. This plan may include presentations at staff meetings, articles in organizational newsletters, and face-to-face discussions with individual and groups of individuals with disabilities employed and/or served by the agency.
  • Lastly, project staff, as well as state commission representatives, will attend the December NSIP conference in Alexandria, Virginia. Pending funding of this proposal, the OCSC is also interested in sending program directors from the three proposed AmeriCorps sites to the December conference. In addition, Project staff will present project results at the March, 2007 Ohio Forging New Links conference, Ohio's conference on volunteerism, service learning, and giving, which includes representatives from all streams of service.

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