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Joel Fosha
Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
foshaj@indiana.edu
812-855-6508

Last modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

IU research and training institute receives grants to implement three disability-related resource initiatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 17, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- IU's Indiana Institute on Disability and Community has been awarded three four-year grants from the Indiana Department of Education. The grants, totaling $11,638,400, will help develop state-wide resource initiatives in the areas of positive behavior supports (PBS), effective assessment and instruction, and improved transition outcomes for Hoosier students with disabilities.

With the first grant, the Indiana Institute's Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with the Equity Project of the Center on Evaluation and Education Policy in the IU School of Education, will work with six schools to develop culturally responsive PBS and establish a statewide teacher training and technical assistance network.

Key components of culturally responsive PBS include raising awareness of racial and ethnic disparities in the disciplining of students and establishing a commitment to forging deliberate "cultures of success" for low-income black and Latino students. To assess the initiative's contribution to Indiana's goals of high achievement and literacy, the project will include a school-based research component that will monitor how the project impacts achievement, dropout rate, parental involvement and placement of students with disabilities in general education classrooms.

In the second project, the Indiana Institute's Center on Education and Lifelong Learning will assist the state in implementing an Indiana Resource Center for Improvement Activities focused on effective assessment and instruction. The project is a collaborative effort with the PATINS Project, an Indiana Department of Education Division of Student Learning assistive technology systems change initiative, and the Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education at Indiana State University.

The resource center will:

  • Act as a statewide resource to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and schools to support state testing decisions and the use of resulting test data
  • Provide best practices in professional development statewide concerning ISTEP-plus accommodations, ISTAR, ISTAR-KR and the Modified ISTEP-plus, and work with the Indiana Department of Education Assessment Division to provide accurate information
  • Act as a statewide resource to LEAs and schools on the accessibility of instruction, Universal Design for Learning, and differentiated instruction while working with Department of Education staff to coordinate this information
  • Respond to statewide assignments for the Department of Education to intervene with selected LEAs and schools based on federal indicator data.

The third initiative establishes an Indiana Resource Center for Improvement Activities through the Indiana Institute's Center on Community Living and Careers. This project is also a collaborative effort with the Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education at Indiana State University. The resource center will assist local education agencies and schools in Indiana through professional development activities to improve secondary transition-focused education services and outcomes for students with disabilities.

The center will:

  • Act as a resource center to LEAs and schools to improve secondary transition education, services, and outcomes for youth with disabilities
  • Develop knowledge and build statewide capacity through teachers leaders to improve transition indicators focusing on graduation rates, compliant Transition Individualized Education Programs (Transition IEPs), improved postsecondary outcomes, and a decrease in drop-out rates
  • Respond to statewide assignments from the Department of Education to intervene with selected LEAs and schools based on federal indicator data
  • Develop evidence-based practices and quality indicators for secondary transition-focused education, family involvement, career education, life-skills instruction, work-based learning, and interagency collaboration.

For more information on the PBS or effective assessment and instruction initiatives, contact Sandi Cole at 812-855-6508 or e-mail cmcole@indiana.edu. For information on secondary transition-focused education and services for students with disabilities, contact Teresa Grossi at 812-855-6508 or e-mail tgrossi@indiana.edu.

For more information on the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, see http://www.iidc.indiana.edu.