SVRI RESEARCH AND GRANT UPDATES
All three of SVRI’s major grant projects are wrapping up on September 30 of this year. Staff members are engaged in writing grant proposals for future projects with partners from across the nation, as well as in writing for publication and discussing the processes of project evaluation(s). 2020 is a huge year for the RKMb staff members! Thanks, RKMb Team!
SVRI RKMb staff members include Amanda Schlegelmilch, Matt Roskowski, Heidi Decker-Maurer, Erin Nierenhausen, Beth Gaertner, Terry Donovan, Cayte Anderson, Ellie Hartman, Jenn Gundlach-Klatt, and Mary McManus.
As Principal Investigator for VRTAC-TC Project E3, SVRI Executive Director Kyle Walker is also part of the team. Jeff Lund teaches the CRC Exam Prep course (along with his Services roles in vocational evaluation and pre-driving evaluation).
Here are some highlights:
Wisconsin PROMISE work is focusing on content sustainability into the future. Right now, featured content is still available at https://promisewi.com/. The new Transition Guide https://promisewi.com/transition-guide/ is also available in hard copy and is a product developed by many dedicated collaborators on this project, including staff members from SVRI!
We encourage you to take some time to look at the videos about Wisconsin PROMISE youth https://promisewi.com/videos/ to get a real flavor of the impact Wisconsin PROMISE has had on our State’s youth. Ellie Hartman, project manager for Wisconsin PROMISE, has kept a blog sharing PROMISE highlights, available at https://promisewi.com/ellies-updates_participant-highlights/. The working stats report is available at https://promisewi.com/download/WI-Promise_WorkingStats.pdf.
For a deeper dive, The Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation has a special 2019 double issue dedicated to Wisconsin PROMISE including publications written by Wisconsin PROMISE SVRI staff members. Wisconsin PROMISE project manager, Dr. Ellie Hartman, sent the following note to staff in the fall:
We are pleased to share that a new special edition, double issue of the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation focused on design, implementation and impact of the national PROMISE demonstration is available online. Volume 51, Issue 2 can be found online and the entire special edition is open sourced.
Ellie, Cayte Anderson, Amanda Schlegelmilch and Matt Roskowski are all published in the Journal. Former SVRI Executive Director Dr. Cayte Anderson was a co-guest editor for the special edition.
Ellie, Cayte and Amanda were all involved in presenting about PROMISE at national conferences this year. Matt Roskowski, Jenn Gundlach-Klatt, Heidi Decker-Maurer, and Mary McManus are also engaged on the PROMISE team activities. Ellie is now employed by UW-Madison but remains with SVRI in the project manager role.
Cayte is still on board at SVRI for the remainder of Wisconsin PROMISE efforts and as Principal Investigator for the PEQA-TAC grant.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance Technical Assistance Center (PEQA-TAC) is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) with the intent to enhance program evaluation capacity within the public vocational rehabilitation program. Dr. Cayte Anderson is the Principal Investigator on the project. Partners include UW-Madison, Michigan State University, Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI), and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) with each partner serving in a key project role.
PEQA-TAC Initiates a Seventh Cohort
There are currently 40 state vocational rehabilitation programs engaged in the PEQA online training program across multiple cohorts since October 2016. As of January 2020, a seventh cohort of seven participants will further extend the outreach effort of this national technical assistance center project. Participants work individually or in teams to complete the program curriculum. In addition, they design and implement a capstone evaluation project that will be meaningful to their State agency and approved by the agency director.
Completed Capstone Projects
Six of the completed capstone projects are available for review at https://peqatac.org/capstone-projects/. Capstone presentations have been offered at the CSAVR Conference, the Summit Conference on Performance Management Excellence, and through online webinars. An additional 22 capstones are in varying stages of development and implementation with several being presented in April at the Spring CSAVR Conference in Bethesda, Maryland.
Advanced Workshops were delivered in Year 4 at the Summit Conference on Performance Management Excellence held in Portland, Maine, and in on-line webinar formats. During Year 4, a total of five (5) advanced workshops were delivered with 712 individuals collectively participating between the online and in-person events. 610 participated online and 102 in-person.
The Summit Conference on Performance Management Excellence hosted a total of 188 participants in September 2019: one of the highest attendance figures in the history of the conference. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia were represented, along with 17 colleges and universities, four additional grant-funded projects (AIR/KTER, PROMISE, ROI, WINTAC) and five business organizations (Alliance, Inc., Ashley Consulting LLC, CareerSource Florida, CSAVR, and Market Decisions Research). Alliance, Inc. and Market Decisions Research also provided sponsorship for the event.
The AIR/KTER State of the Science conference was held within the structure of the Summit Conference, providing a bridge for the KT effort that informs public policy and process. RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz was the keynote presenter, along with Christopher Pope, and members of the RSA data team.
The PEQA-TAC grant provides funds to support SVRI management of the Conference, and coordinate efforts in conjunction with the Summit Group CoP and the Navigators. The Fall 2020 conference will be held September 16-18 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida https://peqatac.org/summit-conference-2020-save-date/. Join your peers to collaborate with VR program evaluators and others interested in creating excellence within state VR agencies! Explore new and proven paths to excellence in performance management and quality assurance in the state VR system. The call for proposals to present on VR program evaluation, quality assurance, continuous improvement and related research is due March 13, 2020. Visit the 13th Annual Summit on Performance management Excellence website for updates and to learn more https://peqatac.org/summit-conference/proposals/.
Project E3 - The Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (VRTAC-TC) is designed to improve employment outcomes of persons with disabilities from traditionally marginalized communities. The grant aims to increase vocational rehabilitation participation of persons with disabilities from these targeted communities leading to greater quality employment outcomes. Kyle Walker, SVRI’s Executive Director, is the Principal Investigator for our efforts on this project. Other staff members assigned to Project E3 include Heidi Decker-Maurer, Matt Roskowski, Terry Donovan, Beth Gaertner, Jenn Gundlach-Klatt, Amanda Schlegelmilch, Beth Biederman and Mary McManus.
Project partners include UW-Madison, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, University of Kentucky, George Washington University, CSAVR and Southern University at Baton Rouge (SUBR). SUBR is also in the lead on the entire project.
SVRI is working specifically with VR and community agency staff in North Carolina and New Hampshire to increase VR participation among persons from targeted populations. These high-leverage groups with national applicability are underserved groups who have achieved substandard performance with needs in multiple locations across the country. Within the grant structure, these persons include: residents of rural & remote communities, adjudicated adults and youth, individuals with disabilities in foster care, individuals with disabilities receiving financial assistance, culturally diverse populations, high school dropouts, functionally illiterate people, persons with multiple disabilities, as well as SSI and SSDI recipients. We have also traveled to South Carolina, Oregon, California, and Milwaukee in support of these efforts with our project partners and collaborators.
The Knowledge Translation and mobilization team provides support to all of the partners and to the Evaluation team for the entire project. KT partners include ERI of Madison, WI, and Virginia Commonwealth University. The following elements are presented in support of Project E3 and available on the website.
Plain Language Summaries of recent research are available on the website https://projecte3.com/category/activities/research/research-summary/.
Webcasts are also posted. Project E3 is pleased to provide recorded versions of our webcasts on topics designed to improve vocational rehabilitation services for the most underserved groups of people with disabilities.
To date, our webcasts have included topics on employment and disabilities, motivational interviewing, youth and disabilities, disability benefits, and poverty and disability. These webinars are attended by an average of 300+ Vocational Rehabilitation professionals from varied state, federal, and community agencies throughout the United States.
Webcasts are free, but registration is required. You can find a list of upcoming webcasts on the website as they become available https://projecte3.com/webcasts/#upcoming. Each webcast offers 1 CRC credit upon submission of the evaluation form. These popular webcasts are archived for future viewing along with additional resources and are eligible for 1 CRC. These can be found at this link https://projecte3.com/webcasts/. This project will have produced nearly 40 webcasts by the end of September 2020.
Podcasts are being produced to highlight efforts made in some of the 12 states impacted directly by Project E3.
The Community of Practice (CoP) provides online meeting spaces for professionals helping people with disabilities from underserved communities achieve their independent living and employment goals. A few communities of practice are open for any practitioner to join, while others are limited to project participants. If you have questions, use the contact us section of the website: https://worksupport.com/targeted_communities/ask/index.cfm
A Research article database is housed at Virginia Commonwealth University. This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (Grant # H264F15003). https://projecte3.com/about/
Learn more about SVRI's Research and Innovation https://www.uwstout.edu/outreach-engagement/stout-vocational-rehabilitation-institute/research-and-innovation