NAU-IHD’s $3.5 Million Grant Award: Making a Difference in the Lives of Tribal Members with Disabilities

Network Partner Updates
DDNN Winter 2016/17

Institute for Human Development (IHD)
Northern Arizona University

US Department of Education logoOn October 1, 2015, the Institute for Human Development (IHD), housed in Northern Arizona University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to establish the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Training and Technical Assistance Center (AIVRTTAC).  The successful grant award is attributed to a team of IHD staff who conceptualized and designed an innovative AIVRTTAC model that is both culturally responsive and relevant to the needs of the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) program staff.

The AIVRTTAC will provide training and technical assistance to the AIVRS program staff. There are currently 85 AIVRS programs providing vocational rehabilitation services to tribal members with disabilities who reside on or near designated service areas. The AIVRS programs prepare tribal consumers for gainful employment in competitive and integrated settings. The AIVRTTAC will offer three levels of training in partnership with the AIVRS programs via face-to-face and web-based training. In addition, 10 in-person trainings will be provided during the grant period, and 70 webinars and 20 evidence-based practice guides will be created.

IHD has been successful with past RSA funding in assisting eligible tribes and AIVRS programs through personalized national grant writing workshops and the provision of on-site technical assistance for grant management.