ICI Awarded Renewed 5-Year Funding
The Institute on Community Integration (ICI) has begun its 28th year of operation with the award of renewed five-year funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant, which began July 1, continues the Institute’s federal designation as a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).
The first year's funding from the award is $535,216 in federal funds, with a $200,000 match from the College of Education and Human Development. These funds help support ICI’s infrastructure and its core mission: “Through collaborative research, training, and information sharing, the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) improves policies and practices to ensure that all children, youth, and adults with disabilities are valued by, and contribute to, their communities of choice.”
“The reviewers of our proposal cited a number of strengths that they see in our approach to our work,” says ICI Director David R. Johnson. Among the comments shared in the Peer and Project Reviewer Summary sent back to the Institute were the following:
- ICI’s goals and program activities directly respond to identified community needs for improved integration of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; self-determination, person-centered planning, and informed choice by individuals with disabilities; and capacity-building to improve capacity in existing services and new programs for people with disabilities.
- The College of Direct Support, Together We Make A Difference Inclusive Service Learning, and Check & Connect programs are innovative and are strong aspects of the community services provided by this UCEDD.
- Efforts to reach Native American youth via the Young American Indian Entrepreneur Curriculum are innovative.
- The Center demonstrates commitment to systems change. Examples include: testifying at a state legislative hearing about the effectiveness of self-directed supports for people with disabilities and their families; involvement on the federal level with Congress; researching and compiling reports for the U. S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services; expert witnesses or consultants on federal court cases related to the provisions of the ADA and Medicaid law; research from the UCEDD’s National Residential Information Systems Project used in legislative and judicial hearings and in policy proposals for service systems reform.
“Over the next five years this renewed core funding will help continue ICI’s long history of activities that increase local, state, and national capacity to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families, and will center on four emphasis areas that correspond to ICI’s program areas: early childhood, school-age, transition, and adult and community living,” says David R. Johnson.
The Institute first became a University Affiliated Program in Developmental Disabilities (the precursor to UCEDDs) in 1985, beginning with fewer than 20 staff working on a handful of projects. Today, it’s a nationally-recognized program whose 70-plus projects and five affiliated centers collaborate with over 200 partnering organizations and agencies around the world to improve services and supports for individuals with disabilities and their families.
To learn more about ICI's current work, visit http://ici.umn.edu.