Eight Big Things ICI Did This Past Year
Every July the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) sends a progress report to the federal government summarizing our work and impact in the world during the past 12 months. Out of the 60 pages of activities submitted this year we’ve pulled out eight activities that, together, reflect some of the depth and breadth of “big things” going on at ICI every day:
- Completed the study of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prevalence among children in Minneapolis to determine whether children of Somali descent were identified as having ASD in higher numbers than non-Somali children (http://www.rtc.umn.edu/autism). The study was named one of the top 20 most significant autism studies in 2013 by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
- Collaborated with colleagues from Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University in Siberia to begin developing a technology-based General Outcome Measures system for use with students with the most significant intellectual disabilities. Project staff are working with a software developer to establish specifications for the system, which will be in English and Russian, and will be used for student assessment and feedback to teachers.
- Grew the Making a Map: Finding My Way Back project, which is developing a comprehensive model to support juvenile offenders with disabilities transitioning from juvenile justice facilities into secondary/postsecondary education, employment, and community programs. It’s a collaboration with Ramsey County Community Corrections, St. Paul Public Schools, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Amicus.
- Recruited and trained teachers, students, and parents in Minnesota and Costa Rica to participate in ICI’s year-long inclusive service learning project, American Youth Leadership Program: Learning to Serve, Serving to Learn. It pairs high school students with and without disabilities from the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley with Costa Rican students from Liceo de Poás High School for a year of inclusive service learning, including student-led community projects addressing climate change (http://aylp-costarica.org/).
- Completed a collaborative project with a consortium of five state departments of education (MN, AZ, ME, MI, and WA) to address how English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities are included in large-scale student assessments. The IVARED project of ICI’s National Center on Educational Outcomes (http://www.ivared.info) worked with the consortium to develop approaches that will ultimately help all states to enhance the quality of their assessment systems in relation to ELLs with disabilities.
- Provided Check & Connect training sessions for over 1,400 educators, school administrators, and others around the country. Check & Connect is the school engagement model developed at ICI for use with K-12 students at risk for disconnecting from school and dropping out (http://checkandconnect.umn.edu/).
- Added 46,369 new learners to the College of Direct Support (http://directcourseonline.com/directsupport), totaling over 440,500 learners since it began. Developed by ICI’s Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC), it offers online, competency-based training to Direct Support Professionals serving people with disabilities nationwide.
- Marked the 29th year of operation of the National Residential Information Systems project in the RTC (http://risp.umn.edu). It continued gathering and analyzing longitudinal data on Medicaid- and state-funded residential and in-home supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities state-by-state and nationally, maintaining a valued data set that informs policy and services nationwide.