Overview of AIDD's Community of Practice Projects
AIDD’s two community of practice projects began in fiscal year 2012 and are funded under Projects of National Significance. Together, these 5-year projects will work to build states’ capacity to support competitive integrated employment and family-related services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A community of practice is a group of people who share a common interest and a consistent professional perspective. In a community of practice, individuals work together on an ongoing basis to share ideas, provide technical assistance and support among peers, and discuss solutions to shared challenges.
The projects are:
- Community of Practice for Supporting Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, awarded to the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston
- Community of Practice: Focusing on Life Span Supports for Self-Advocates and Their Families, awarded to the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services
Each grantee will establish a community of practice comprising at least five states in the first year. The communities of practice will:
Form state consortia (or partnerships) to build the capacity of states to create and share policies, practices, and systems that:
Support competitive integrated employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Support families that include an individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities
As part of this effort, each community of practice will:
- Define the scope of the issue (as it relates to either competitive integrated employment or supporting families)
- Gather information, including identifying emerging and promising practices
- Establish and maintain ways to share data, promising practices, and other information
- Develop ideas to address challenges
- Develop opportunities to improve strategies, policies, practices, and systems
- Provide peer-to-peer technical assistance
- Promote collaboration and partnership among agencies
Training and technical assistance activities will be conducted in partnership with:
- Developmental Disabilities networks (State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, State Protection and Advocacy Systems, and University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities)
- State vocational rehabilitation agencies
- Consortia members
- Relevant state agencies
At the end of the 5-year project period, the grantees will report on emerging and promising practices, policy and practice changes in the involved states, recommendations to improve policy and practice at state and national levels, and continued opportunities for information sharing and dissemination across states beyond the project period.