HATTIESBURG – The
Institute for Disability Studies, Mississippi's University Center
for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at The University of
Southern Mississippi, has received a $133,000 one-year planning
grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to plan
for the implementation of a coordinated one-stop center by multi-agency
Awarded through the Administration on Developmental
Disabilities, Project First Stop will develop, implement and evaluate
a multi-agency effort for a comprehensive one-stop support center
to assist military families with a child or adult member with a
disability by preserving, strengthening and maintaining the family.
According to Dr. Jane Siders, project director and
director of IDS at Southern Miss, Project First Stop was the only
grant awarded in the country from ADD with a focus on assisting
"The purpose of Project First Stop is to have
a center where military families of a child or adult with a disability
will have the opportunity for one-on-one contact for assistance
with any needed community or military support services," said
Jerry Alliston, IDS project coordinator.
The project works in collaboration with the Department
of Human Services in the planning and implementation phases as appointed
by Gov. Haley Barbour. IDS is also collaborating with various community
agencies and military families with disabled dependents to plan
for the implementation of the center.
A planning council composed of various military and
community representatives has also been established. This council
will concentrate on the development of three reports focusing on
analyzing data received from a needs assessment including establishing
a vision, mission and organizing principles, as well as making recommendations
for action on the implementation of the one-stop center. After the
completion of these reports, IDS will be eligible to apply for implementation
funds from ADD.
The Institute for Disability Studies provides university
training, community service activities, research and information
that promote the independence, productivity and community inclusion
of individuals with disabilities and their families. For more information
about IDS, visit www.usm.edu/ids or call 1-888-671-0051 (TTY).