UMD Center Receives $7.1M for Six Projects to Expand Education and Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

A student with an intellectual disability works at a computer.

The Center for Transition and Career Innovation (CTCI) was awarded six contracts totaling $7.1 million, beginning October 1. With this funding, the CTCI will work to create more inclusive and equitable education and employment opportunities for students and youth with disabilities. 

“By engaging in this research and building partnerships among education, vocational rehabilitation and human service agencies, our center can help pave the way for a more coordinated system of services for youth with disabilities,” said CTCI Director Christy Stuart. “This will ultimately empower youth to break down barriers and reach their full potential.”

The six contracts are:

  • Connecticut Disability Innovative Fund Grant on Pathways to Partnerships: $3.7 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education/Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services to support the state in developing an innovative model of collaboration and partnerships across education and their key partners that promotes the seamless transition from secondary education to college and careers. 
  • Maryland Disability Innovative Fund Grant on Pathways to Partnership: $2.4 million over five years from  the U.S. Department of Education/Maryland State Department of Education to implement a collaborative innovative systemic model across education and their partners to engage underserved children, youth and families in high-quality, coordinated services and supports, ultimately enhancing college and career readiness and promoting their overall well-being.
  • National Program Evaluation Center for the Disability Innovation Fund Grantees: $800,000 over five years. CTCI is part of a national team of subject matter experts, led by Mathematica, established to support the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in evaluating 20 states that were awarded Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) grants. 
  • Iowa State Department of Education: $160,000 for one year to disseminate a new Specially Designed Instruction Framework for Secondary Transition and develop professional learning modules in three sectors: Career and Technical Education, Postsecondary Education and Work-based Learning Experiences.
  • Connecticut State Rehabilitation Board: $80,000 for one year to assess comprehensive requirements of the board’s vocational rehabilitation agency.
  • Vermont Department of Human Services: $30,000 for one year to support a new state initiative to help educators deliver career exploration and preparation service to students with disabilities before they leave secondary school.