RTC-CL Awarded $4.3 Million in New 5-Year Funding Cycle


The Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC/CL), part of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration, and a founding partner of DirectCourse, recently received a five-year, $4.3 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). RTC/CL will use the funding to conduct a wide range of projects related to community supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including seven new studies in areas of employment for people with disabilities, direct support workforce development, community inclusion, and assistive technology. “This [funding] cycle brings us opportunities to understand more about effective interventions that support people to live and work in their communities, and new areas of study such as home technology and retirement,” said Amy Hewitt, Director of the Institute on Community Integration. “There is nothing more important to children and adults with disabilities and their families than having opportunities to live and fully participate in their communities, neighbors, friends, teammates, and coworkers.”

The application for renewed funding was submitted in collaboration with the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, Institute on Community Inclusion (University of Massachusetts-Boston), Human Services Research Institute, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, The Arc of the United States, Temple University, and the Association of University Centers on Disability. “These partners share a common vision in the development and dissemination of knowledge to promote community living and participation of persons with disabilities,” noted Hewitt.

Funding from NIDILRR allows RTC/CL to conduct national research on areas of need in the direct support workforce and develop evidence-based solutions. This knowledge informs and is foundational to the content of The College of Direct Support and other outreach and training programs.

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