Teaching & Learning

Center for Persons With Disabilities Receives Funding For New Project

The Early Intervention Research Institute at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University has received a grant for $400,000 per year for the next four years to help organize support services at the community level for children with special health care needs.

“Children with special health care needs constitute approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population of children in our country,” said project director Richard Roberts. “Many times communities do not understand the need to organize the services and supports for these kids and their families so families can use them without a lot of hassle. This includes medical care, schooling, being able to be part of the baseball or soccer team and parents being able to work.”
 
The project, the National Center for Inclusive Community-Integrated Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs, will provide national leadership to help support agencies to achieve full implementation of the President’s New Freedom Initiative, according to Roberts.
 
The president’s initiative requires that services in community settings for persons with disabilities should provide access to assistive and universally designed technologies, expanded educational opportunities, integration of Americans with disabilities into the workforce, more transportation options and promotion of full access to community life.
 
“Community life includes medical services, hospital visits, using the playground, going to the mall to hang out and a hundred different things that children with good health and no disability take for granted every day,” said Roberts.
 
Roberts said the new project assures that children with and without special health care needs will learn more about each other and be more tolerant.
 
“Also, children with special health care needs, in addition to being healthier, will finally have access to the everyday things that all kids love to do and be more likely to have meaningful employment when they are ready for work,” he said.
 
Funding for the project is provided by the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Division of Services for Children with Health Care Needs.
playing tennis

USU's Center for Persons with Disabilities has received a grant to organize support services at the community level for children with special health care needs.

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