UW-Stout institute receives vocational rehabilitation assistance grants

By University Communications
November 2, 2015
Cayte Anderson and John Lui of the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute are co-principal investigators for a new five-year federal grant.

Photo: Cayte Anderson and John Lui

The University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute is collaborating with educational partners across Wisconsin and the nation on two new initiatives to provide technical assistance to state vocational rehabilitation agencies that help people with disabilities obtain employment and become more involved in their communities.

The Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute will lead the first project, the Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance. It is a $2.5 million initiative, with key partners to include the UW-Stout Applied Research Center, UW-Madison, Michigan State University, UW-Stout Rehabilitation and Counseling, and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation.

This initiative is intended to help state vocational rehabilitation agencies transform their service delivery models and help develop the program evaluation capacity to determine the most effective services that help people with disabilities find good-paying jobs consistent with their abilities and career interests.

In addition, Cayte Anderson, SVRI executive director, and John Lui, SVRI director of Research and Knowledge Mobilization, will play key roles as co-principal investigators on a project called the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities: Educate, Empower, and Employ (Project E3). This $12.5 million, five-year federal grant is being led by a team at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La.

This initiative will work specifically with people from economically disadvantaged communities to better identify and address the persistent, pervasive, multilayered economic and disability-related barriers to employment for marginalized groups with disabilities. SVRI will receive $3.2 million for their expertise in training and technical assistance and in evaluating the effectiveness of the initiative.

"SVRI is honored to continue our meaningful work to improve employment and economic outcomes for individuals with disabilities,” Anderson said. “Working with colleagues at other institutions of higher education and colleagues in the field provides a wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge and experience."

The research projects got underway Oct. 1 and are being funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, which is within the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
“The activities in these grants will enhance the collaboration between various departments at UW-Stout, and thus the professional growth of faculty and staff,” Lui said. “The projects will benefit the students, from various disciplines, greatly, with their involvement with the project activities through practicums or internships. These unique experiences will prepare them well for their future careers.”

For more information about SVRI, go here >>