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Released March 28, 2005

INSTITUTE FOR DISABILITY STUDIES AT SOUTHERN MISS
RECEIVES HHS PLANNING GRANT TO ASSIST MILITARY FAMILIES

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 partnerships.

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 military families.

"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).

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April 14, 2005 11:56 AM