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Vocational Rehabilitation and Autism Spectrum Disorders Project
In partnership with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of Central Florida, SEDL is conducting research and knowledge translation designed to improve the quality and responsiveness in vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Vocational Rehabilitation and Autism Spectrum Disorders project consists of a multifaceted set of research and dissemination activities.
University of Central Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UCF-CARD)
National Advisory Panel
Susan Foley, PhD, Research Director, Institute for Community Inclusion, and Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Vocational Rehabilitation (VR-RRTC). Susan received her doctorate from the Florence Heller School for Advanced Social Policy at Brandeis University in May 1999 and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bates College in 1985. Her research activities include quality of life outcomes for people with cognitive disabilities, state systems and employment outcomes for people with disabilities, and the career development of women with disabilities.
Anna Hundley, Executive Director, Autism Treatment Centers of Texas, President, National Association of Providers for Adults with Autism (NARPAA), Vice Chair of the Texas Council on Autism, and Services Task Force Member for Autism Society of America. Anna has worked in the field of autism for over 25 years.
Alice Hunnicutt, Director, New Jersey Director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Founding Board President, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network. Alice has worked for many years at the New Jersey Statewide Parent Advocacy Network in the area of transition. Alice is the parent of 5 young adults, and she is very proud of the advocacy skills they developed in their transition years.
Frank McCamant, Presiding Officer, Texas Council on Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Frank is the owner of McCamant Consulting and has worked in the energy and resource management industry for more than 30 years. In his community work, McCamant has been equally committed, having served on local boards and a gubernatorial appointment to a statewide council.
Don Uchida, Executive Director, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation. Don has served citizens with disabilities in Utah for nearly 40 years in the Office of Rehabilitation and its divisions. He is committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities, not only in Utah, but within the nation as he serves on various boards and committees serving people with disabilities. He is also the father of a child with multiple disabilities, including autism, and strives to provide her an environment of independence.
John Westbrook, PhD, is the project director for the VR and Autism Spectrum Disorders project and program manager for SEDL's Disability Research to Practice Program. Dr. Westbrook currently directs the NCDDR and RUSH projects, both of which are national disability and rehabilitation research and knowledge translation projects funded by NIDRR. Dr. Westbrook is a member of SEDL's Management Council, which serves as the organization's principal planning and advisory board.
John Middleton is the Web Administrator for the VR and Autism Spectrum Disorders project. He is a specialist in maximizing the information resources of Web sites while maintaining a high degree of accessibility for viewers with disabilities. He also currently serves as Web Administrator for SEDL's National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research.
Chad Nye, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Central Florida and UCF CARD's Executive Director, a position he has held since the Center's establishment in 1998. He is also co-chair and editor for the Campbell Collaboration's Education Coordinating Group and a Fulbright scholar. He has published widely on issues and interventions addressing autism and ASD, speech and language disorders, and learning disabilities.
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
The mission of NIDRR is to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of people with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community, and also to expand society's capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities.
SEDL is a private, nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination (RD&D) corporation based in Austin, Texas. For the past 12 years, SEDL's National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) has worked to build the capacity of disability researchers to increase consumer access to disability research outcomes by creating and implementing dissemination plans that are responsive to the concerns, needs, and communication styles of disability research consumers. Via the NCDDR and its companion initiative, the Research Utilization and Support (RUSH) Project, SEDL also has become a national leader in the emerging field of knowledge translation, which strongly links dissemination and utilization strategies to the intended users of the research outcomes.
By creating and synthesizing knowledge about transition and employment services and outcomes, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Autism Spectrum Disorders project will highlight service models and related resources for improving outcomes for consumers with ASD.