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An interdisciplinary team across multiple departments at UNC-Chapel Hill in partnership with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities(ID/DD) and their families, and community organizations providing transition services for adolescents and adults will establish a community collaborative aimed at optimizing opportunities for employment for adults with ID/DD. Dr. Brianne Tomaszewski will serve as the principal investigator for the 5-year project that will establish and maintain the North Carolina Community Employment Collaborative. The collaborative will work to identify current strengths and barriers of existing transition services, expand and strengthen transition services, and facilitate improved transition from school to postsecondary education and employment.

Project Title: North Carolina Community Employment Collaborative

Funder: United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living

Project Summary: Dr. Brianne Tomaszewski (TEACCH) is the Principle Investigator of the North Carolina Community Collaboration for Employment funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living Developmental Disabilities Projects of National Significance (Award # 90DNCE0006-01-00). The team is interdisciplinary and includes individuals from the Department of Psychiatry/ TEACCH (Glenna Osborne, Mike Chapman), CIDD (Anna Ward, McCafferty Kermon, Adela Van Name), Department of Allied Health (Dara Chan, Nancy Bagatell), School of Education (Jennifer Diliberto), School of Social Work (Tamara Norris), Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (Ann Sam), and critical community collaborators with intellectual and developmental disabilities and individuals from NC DHHS, including Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Public Instruction, and other organizations providing transition and employment services for individuals with ID/DD.

Over the next five years, the $1.1 million grant will optimize opportunities for competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education, and independent living for individuals with ID/DD and their families in the Triangle and Triad regions of NC. This project aims to increase the capacity of the Triangle and Triad regions in NC to provide, expand, and strengthen transition services and facilitate improved transition activities between schools and their local organizations for individuals with ID/DD.

The objectives are to:

1) establish an NC Community Employment Collaborative with state and regional participants
2) conduct a landscape analysis
3) develop a Community Collaboration Employment Transition Plan
4) implement the Community Collaboration Employment Transition plan. The long-term goal will be to sustain the NC Community Employment Collaboration and extend it to a statewide system.

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Learn more from the funding agency providing information about the award.