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 seven (7) RSA PTIs: REACH, New York Parent Partnership, Open Doors for Multi-Cultural Families, STELLAR, The LINK Center, Project LAUNCH, and Shift.
What We Do for RSA-PTIs and OSEP Parent Centers:
RAISE employs strategic use of face-to-face meetings, webinars, social media, and other web-based media, as well as one-to-one technical assistance strategies, to provide a variety of services to our professional audience:
- Disseminate information on promising and evidence-based practices that lead to high-quality employment outcomes and independent living for individuals with disabilities
- Share strategies for reaching and serving individuals from culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds with the RSA-funded PTI centers
- Create tools to help RSA-funded PTI centers build their capacity to disseminate information and conduct training activities on the transition from school to adult life, available VR program services, career development, and related fields
- Foster development of expertise in assisting State-level, RSA-funded PTIs 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 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-PTIs, the RAISE audience includes youth/young adults with disabilities and their families. For them we provide a multitude of resources and information to help them:
- Better understand vocational rehabilitation (VR) and independent living programs and services;
- Communicate more effectively with transition and rehabilitation personnel and other relevant professionals; and
- Understand the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act, particularly provisions relating to employment, supported employment, and independent living.
RAISE also provides these individuals with
- Follow-up support for transition and employment programs;
- Support and expertise in obtaining information about rehabilitation and independent living programs, services, and appropriate resources;
- Support in the development of the individualized plan for employment.