April 23, 2014  

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Institute for Disabilities Studies Initiates Community Service Project

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South Mississippi youth and young adults with disabilities have an opportunity to provide community services through a unique program offered by the Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Project TRIAD (Training, Resources and Information for the Advancement of Disability Service) is an inclusive service initiative borne from a $75,000 AmeriCorps grant. Through this program youth with disabilities will receive guidance and information on health care, transition and job training.

Mentoring opportunities will be provided that promote transition to adulthood with emphasis on post-secondary education. In addition, service members will be able to share their knowledge and stories in the university and college setting to peers. The program is geared specifically to high school youth with disabilities.

“With the addition of Project TRIAD Service AmeriCorps, the Institute for Disability Studies can further assist in promoting service, leadership and advocacy for AmeriCorps members with and without disabilities,” said IDS Executive Director Royal Walker.

Dr. Jerry R. Alliston, coordinator for community inclusion and volunteer service at IDS and TRIAD project coordinator, noted that the Institute has been involved with national service for many years through training and membership on the state inclusion team.

“This project is so vital because it focuses on transition into adulthood, an important time period in the lives of all youth and young adults,” said Alliston. “Project TRIAD will promote several transition options including national service by having peers with disabilities share their success stories and promote what is available.”

A total of 20 part-time service members will be involved in TRIAD which is targeting 15 South Mississippi counties. For information about the project or to apply for membership, contact the Hattiesburg office of the Institute for Disability Studies at 601.266.5163 or toll free at 1.888.671.0051.