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Institute for Disability Studies Receives Federal Grant to Increase Community-Based Outcomes for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 09:33am

Institute for Disability StudiesThe Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has been awarded a one-year $100,000 national community-based transition partnership planning grant from the Administration of Community Living. 

The new grant, Pine Belt Transition Together Enhancing young Adult services in Mississippi (TEAM), is to establish a plan to create a network of resources to increase community-based outcomes for youth with intellectual and other developmental disabilities during the transition to adulthood. 

As noted by Dr. Jerry R. Alliston, principal investigator for the grant, “the transition to adulthood is a very important time for all youth regardless of disability. This project will focus on ensuring that youth with disabilities have the opportunity to explore employment, continued education, and independent living just like their peers without disabilities.” 

The Pine Belt Transition TEAM will continue partnerships with an established inclusive advisory council which consists of self-advocates (youth and young adults with disabilities), family members and professionals from community, government, nonprofit and transition-focused agencies/organizations. 

In order to develop a transition plan, the Pine Belt Transition TEAM will complete a comprehensive review and analysis of key areas of transition to adulthood services across the Pine Belt counties of Covington, Forrest, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marion, Perry and Wayne. Transition focal areas will include employment, postsecondary education, healthcare, social supports, leisure, career guidance, housing and financial literacy. 

This comprehensive assessment along with guidance from the TEAM members will inform the development of a transition plan with an overarching goal of establishing a high-quality, sustainable, community-based transition program. Additional funding is anticipated in 2021 to implement the plan to increase and impact transition to adulthood services for youth with disabilities. 

For more than 40 years, IDS has maintained its mission to "positively affect the lives of Mississippi citizens with developmental and other disabilities and their families across the lifespan and to work toward increasing their independence, productivity, and community inclusion." IDS concentrates its work in four emphasis areas: Early Childhood Inclusion and Education, Housing, Transition to Adulthood and Wellness.

To learn more about IDS’ transition program including the Pine Belt Transition TEAM, visit, call 601.266.5163 option 3 or email Transition Coordinator Beth Robertson at beth.robertsonFREEMississippi