In 2014, SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), a parent-led and family-centered non-profit parent training and information center (PTI), was funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide support to individuals with disabilities through the transition from secondary school and into competitive employment and independent living.
RAISE was funded by a national grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to provide technical assistance and support to eight (8) RSA PTIs.
What We Do for RSA-PTIs and OSEP Parent Centers
RAISE uses face-to-face meetings, webinars, social media, other web-based media, and one-to-one technical assistance strategies, to provide a variety of services to our Parent Center staff:
- Share information on promising and evidence-based practices that lead to high-quality employment outcomes and independent living for individuals with disabilities
- Share strategies for serving individuals from culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds with the RSA-funded Parent Centers (RSA-PC)
- Create tools to help RSA-funded Parent Centers build their capacity to share information and conduct training activities on the transition from school to adult life, available Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program services, career development, and related fields
- Support development of expertise in assisting State-level Parent Centers as they work with transition-aged youth with disabilities and their families to access transition services, VR programs, and career development opportunities*
* This expertise also includes the provision of technical assistance on how to coordinate a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) with the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) so that the services provided to young adults with disabilities under both plans are more likely to lead to high-quality competitive employment in the integrated labor market.
What We Do for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families
Besides the RSA-PCs, the RAISE audience includes youth/young adults with disabilities and their families. For them we provide resources and information to help them:
- Better understand vocational rehabilitation (VR) and independent living programs and services;
- Communicate more effectively with transition, rehabilitation, and other professionals; and
- Understand the Rehabilitation Act, particularly focusing on employment, supported employment, and independent living.
RAISE also provides these individuals with
- Follow-up support for transition and employment programs;
- Support in obtaining information about rehabilitation and independent living programs, services, and appropriate resources;
- Support in the development of the Individualized Plan for Employment.