Abstract & Personnel
U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (Funding period: October 1, 2001 through December 31, 2007*)
*Currently, we are continuing to produce the monthly electronic newsletter called, eNews, through the voluntary support of CDS staff, but all other activities have been discontinued.
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Center on Disability Studies/University Center on Exellence, in collaboration with Hawaii Center for Independent Living and Hawai‘i Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind Division.
As the population of the U.S. shifts toward greater numbers of culturally and linguistically diverse persons, Congress has expressed concern over the higher prevalence of minority persons with disability and documented patterns of inequitable treatment of such persons within the vocational rehabilitation process (Section 21 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998). Addressing this need, the University of Hawaii at Manoa will establish and maintain a National Technical Assistance Center focused on increasing employment outcomes through expanding and improving the provision of rehabilitation and other services for persons with disabilities of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture.
- To develop a National Technical Assistance Center that will increase employment opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with disabilities nationwide, in both rural and urban areas.
- To develop and provide technical assistance that will result in increased, culturally relevant vocational rehabilitation services for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with disabilities.
- To respond to the changing needs for technical assistance by the population being served.
- Establish collaborative linkages for strategic planning, technical assistance, training, outreach and service delivery, and dissemination
- Identify solutions to barriers for AAPI access and participation in VR process
- Provide information to employers and industry organizations
- Provide culturally and linguistically relevant training on legal provisions
- Provide educational and vocational outreach to AAPIs with disabilities
- Assist stakeholders to better understand related issues
- Develop a corps of AAPI leaders with disabilities
The Center will build technical assistance capacity through the participation of partners formalized within a National Advisory Board and four National Technical Assistance Networks. The four Networks will focus on:
- AAPIs with disabilities and their families, represented within the Centers for Independent Living nationwide;
- State and local Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and personnel;
- Cultural, religious, employer and industry groups, small business administrations, chambers of commerce, and other community agencies and groups; and
- AAPI leaders and experts, including persons with disabilities, in rehabilitation and disability studies.
The four networks will function as major sources of input to the National Technical Assistance Center regarding issues and barriers to be solved, technical assistance materials and activities to be developed as well as methods/formats for delivery. Each network will participate in the development and implementation of the following activities:
- Identify solutions related to barriers to obtaining employment, educational, and independent living opportunities;
- Provide culturally and linguistically appropriate information;
- Provide culturally and linguistically relevant training (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and other civil rights legislation);
- Provide educational and vocational outreach, through key organizations and agencies, which will impact upon Asian and Pacific Islander Americans with disabilities;
- Assist organizations, families, higher education, and individuals with disabilities to better understand other issues relevant to these populations, including, housing, transportation, assistive technology, independent living, long-term care, and federal statues such as the Workforce Investment Act, the Ticket-to-Work, PASS Plans, Work Incentive Act, Medicaid buy-ins, tax incentives, and other benefits to employers and consumers;
- Enhance the development of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with disabilities through youth leadership activities within undergraduate and graduate programs.
The networks will target nationwide states and communities that include recent immigrant populations living in extreme urban and rural areas in need of culturally appropriate technical assistance regarding civil rights, education and employment opportunities, and disability-related services. The Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (Asian American and Pacific Islander minority institution of higher education) will administer and coordinate activity across the four networks, ensuring the complete involvement of unserved and underserved Americans with disabilities from Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds.
- A system of coordinated, interrelated, and integrated technical assistance will be offered nationwide; and
- Employment outcomes for AAPI individuals with disabilities will be increased through the increased competency of agencies and outreach and referral sources, the improved sharing of information and resources among disability related projects, and the enhanced knowledge of employers concerning this population.