2002-2005 NSIP Accomplishments: Florida

October 15, 2005

Project Director: Jean Sherman

Focus area and target population

Our focus area over the last three years has primarily been AmeriCorps. However, during our current grant we have begun working with local Senior Corps programs.

Local & National Organizations and networks impacted

Our NSIP efforts have impacted the local Family Care Council (FCC), People First chapters in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Florida Association of Support Coordinators (FASC), Sunrise Opportunities, Inc. (a disability services provider) and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC). The FDDC has become aware of community service as an opportunity for community integration, as this option for individuals with developmental disabilities was included in their recent strategic plan report. Sunrise staff have learned about national and community service as an option leading to employment, as their supported employment staff participate in our current grant program. FASC members were educated about the potential of community service for the consumers they serve. Several FASC members have referred individuals with disabilities for potential AmeriCorps membership. Members of People First were educated about the potential of community service; one member has recently become an AmeriCorps member. Several members of the FCC have participated in our current grant program; one is actively pursuing submitting an application for a new AmeriCorps program, more closely matched with the skills of adults with autism.

Significant Outcomes & Accomplishments

During our three years' participation in NSIP initiatives, 81 AmeriCorps managers and members have been trained in awareness of disability inclusion and ways of modifying the service setting and program position descriptions to accommodate members with disabilities. 94% agreed or strongly agreed that they knew more about specific kinds of disabilities; 100% understood more about disability accommodations; 97% had some new ideas for creating jobs for members with disabilities; 91% had some new ideas for modifying training for members with disabilities.

In the same period, 150 support coordinators attended a presentation about service in AmeriCorps and its potential benefits for the consumers they serve. 30 People First members attended a workshop and learned about community service in AmeriCorps.

Activities & programs

Other opportunities and potential opportunities for expanded efforts toward national and community service inclusion have directly resulted from our NSIP experience. These include: membership on Volunteer Florida's State Inclusion Council; attendance and workshop presentation at the 2004 Points of Light conference; and, collaboration with UCLA/Tarjan Center and the University of HI/UCEDD in an application to CNCS for implementing a model strategy in the three states, for expanding community service inclusion for veterans and youth and adults with disabilities.

Foundation built for future funding opportunities

Recently applied for an AMERICORPS grant through the Corporation for Community Service along with two other states: Hawaii and California who received NSIP grants. Grant Awarded.