The University of Montana Rural Institute Research in
Social Security Employment Supports (RISES)
The Montana University Affiliated "Rural Institute" on Disabilities received the Federal Department of Education initiative to research and implement innovative strategies which increase the utilization of Social Security Work Incentives through the IEP-transition planning process. Innovative strategies are needed because persons with disabilities face numerous barriers to employment, constitute an under-utilized work force and have not taken full advantage of Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Work Incentives (there were 0 Social Security Work Incentives for youth 14-21 in Montana and only 34 plans for all persons in Montana who receive Social Security at the project initiation in 1997). Social Security Administration's Work Incentives were designed to reduce employment barriers and ease the transition to employment. The inclusion of such incentives in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Transition Planning Process can support improved post-school employment outcomes and help to alleviate poor economic conditions. It is a potential solution to some individuals currently on the 'waiting for services' lists.
Project Mission Statement and Outcome.
The RISES project is conducting: (1) an analysis of the barriers to gaining Social Security Work Incentives and employment for young adults with disabilities; (2) identification of strategies and materials which promote and increase the utilization of Social Security Work Incentives; and (3) qualitative and quantitative research methodology to determine the relative efficacy of the technical assistance strategies used to increase utilization of Social Security Work Incentives. Outcomes include the development of PASS plans, monographs, technical assistance and training materials and policies to support inclusion of SSI and SS Work Incentive information in the eligible student's Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Funding Agency and CFDA : US Department of Education CFDA # 84.023D for 4 years
Project Description (abstract, goals, and objectives): The project will develop and research:
The Research in Social Security Employment Support Project (RISES) emphasizes preparation for a system wide response which expands partnerships among students, parents, and education, mental health, developmental disabilities and vocational rehabilitation professionals and is consistent with School to Work, IDEA and other federal initiatives designed to support successful learning. Improved knowledge of why Social Security Work Incentives have not been utilized by the 14-21 year special education population and successful strategies to increase utilization could lead to state level adoption of approaches to improve utilization and life outcomes for Individuals who have disabilities. If you want more information about the Rural Institute RISES web site check out http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/rises.
- the barriers to gaining Social Security Income or Social Security Work Incentives and employment for young adults with disabilities;
- the identification of strategies and materials which promote and increase the utilization of Social Security Work Incentives; and
- the relative efficacy of the technical assistance strategies used to increase utilization of Social Security Work Incentives (through qualitative and quantitative methodologies)..
Research The Rural Institute will conduct high quality research that describes and
explains how SSA work incentives can be included in the transition planning process and can
support post-school employment outcomes.
Management The Rural Institute will implement management protocols which
ensure smooth, timely and fiscally responsible operation of the project.
Evaluation The Rural Institute will implement evaluation protocols which ensure completion of research and dissemination activities in a timely, comprehensive and cost efficient manner.
Dissemination During the program and beyond the Rural Institute will disseminate the outcomes of project research in a format and modality that meets the needs of a heterogeneous target audience.
Geographic Area Served: Montana: This is a statewide Project. Efforts are closely linked to a consortium of collaborators referred to as "The Work Incentives Transition Network".
The University of Montana
Montana University Affiliated Rural Institute on Disabilities
634 Eddy Avenue
Missoula, Montana 59812
(406) 243-5467 (voice and TDD)
(406) 243-4730 (fax)
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