The Global Resource Center for Inclusive Education (GRC) is designed to work collaboratively with reserachers, teachers, persons with disabilities, family members and policy makers around the world in the areas of developing and evaluating inclusive education programs, training teachers on-site or online, supporting international policymakers in developing sustainable and cost-effective ways to meet inclusive education goals, developing education and transition assessment tools, and much more. Below is a list of GRC projects, active and completed, and a list of products we have produced, including textbooks, toolkits, articles, and films. To view a description of the services we provide, visit the About page.
Assistive Service Robotics and the Future of Inclusive Employment: A U.S.-Japan Partnership
This collaboration between the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration, the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, the University of Tokyo, and OryLab, Inc. is focused on exploring how assistive service robots can be used to enhance the community inclusion and employment of people with disabilities in Japan and the U.S. The three collaborating universities have extensive experience and expertise working with people with a wide variety of disabilities in the areas of inclusion, self-determination, customized and supported employment, and assistive technology. OryLab, Inc. has developed innovative assistive service robots (OriHime) that have, thus far, been primarily used with people with physical disabilities. This technology, however, has the potential to be used with people with other types of disabilities (e.g., intellectual disabilities) to provide on-the-job supports in employment settings. This U.S.-Japanese partnership offers a synergy of knowledge and understanding of person-centered practices, customized and supported employment, and self-determination in support of people with disabilities living the self-determined lives they desire with the advances in OriHime technology.
Making Employment Meaningful for People with Disabilities: A U.S.-Japan Partnership
Japanese companies are required to staff about two percent of their workforces with people with disabilities, but many individuals remain unemployed, underemployed, or stuck in jobs for which they are ill-suited. In a collaboration with U.S. and Japanese universities and Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., ICI’s Global Disability Rights and Inclusion group studied these gaps and created customized tools to promote meaningful employment and social inclusion for people with disabilities in Japan.
The project conducted interviews and focus groups in Japan to determine the areas of greatest need. There were also two fact-finding visits, one in Japan and one in Minnesota, to show customized employment programs in the United States to Japanese educators and others. Eventually, the group expects to publish Japanese-language materials for educators and employers.
- U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan
- University of Wisconsin–River Falls
- Hiroshima University [Japan]
- University of Tokyo [Japan]
- Sega Sammy [Japan]
- Mie Prefecture Shuno Kyougikai [Japan]
Economic Empowerment for People with Disabilities in Kenya
This project increased the capacity of Kenyan business owners with disabilities to do business with the United States and improved the business environment and climate for people with disabilities. ICI led the project with implementing partners. The project focused on inclusion, disability rights, and training for instructors in business development. It also hosted business plan training to work with people with disabilities across Kenya, particularly in the northern and coastal regions. The multi-directional learning promoted understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives among Kenyan entrepreneurs and business people with disabilities, emphasizing business acumen and the contributions of people with disabilities in their respective societies.
Supporting the Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Kisangani
This project collaborated with the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Ministry of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action & National Solidarity to work with local and regional government staff and with health and services provider agency staff to raise their awareness of the rights and abilities of people with disabilities in Kisangani, the third-largest city in the country. The project also increased their skills to provide supports that provide full inclusion through training, educational materials, technical assistance, and the creation of a Community of Practice. Furthermore, this project increased the advocacy skills of individuals with disabilities through advocacy training and training to create radio and social media content aimed at raising awareness of the rights and abilities of people with disabilities.
- U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs
- Subcontract from
- U.S. Embassy Kinshasa [Congo]
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo's Ministry of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action & National Solidarity
Understanding, Developing, and Supporting Meaningful Work for Youth with Disabilities in Bhutan: Networks, Communities, and Transitions
Supported the inclusive community employment of youth and young adults with disabilities in Bhutan, a mountainous kingdom in south central Asia. This research and development program collaborated with colleagues from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan. ICI staff developed and implemented tools to assess employment for people with disabilities in Bhutan, reviewed services that support this outcome, and recommended additional services. This work now informs policy and legislation that promote community-based employment for young people with disabilities in Bhutan.
Developing Leadership Capacity in Inclusive Education: A U.S.-Ukrainian Partnership
Built capacity in inclusive education practices at the university and public school levels in six regions of Ukraine through lectures, a train-the-trainer model, and mentoring by U.S. experts. These inclusive practices affected pre-service teachers and students with and without disabilities. The project focused on universities and schools outside the Kiev region where resources tend to be significantly less than in the capital region.
Seven experts traveled to Ukraine in three teams for 10 days each throughout the year to share their knowledge and expertise through lectures, workshops, and mentoring, and to prepare future Ukrainian leaders in inclusive practices. U.S. experts conducted seminars and mentoring sessions to enhance participants' capacity and leadership skills. Participants also co-presented with the experts to become familiar with the topics and provide a Ukrainian perspective. The U.S. team, in collaboration with the Fellows and trainees, developed an online learning module on each topic in both English and Ukrainian to make the content available remotely to faculty, teachers, students, and others throughout Ukraine. This project continued a partnership with Ukraine on inclusive education that began in 2017 with an earlier project called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Anniversary International Fellowship Program in Inclusive Education: A University of Minnesota Partnership with India, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Ukraine.
- U.S. Embassy Ukraine
- Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
Community Participation and Employment as Strategies for Social inclusion: A U.S.-Russian Dialogue [Archived]
Enhances the social inclusion of Russian youth and young adults with disabilities by developing community living and supported employment programs in the Moscow area. Options in Russia for supported community living and employment are very limited, leading many Russian parents to doubt the value of educating children and youth with disabilities, which, in turn, diminishes employment and community participation prospects for young Russians.
Life Route is a subsidiary of Ordinary Childhood, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Russia that is trying to break this cycle. ICI's Global Resource Center for Inclusive Education (GRC) is working with Life Route to develop materials that support youth with disabilities to successfully transition from school to employment and community living. Activities include staff from Life Route visiting Minnesota in fall 2018 to observe employment and community living programs, and GRC staff traveling to Russia to provide technical assistance. Working with NGOs and parents on these transition issues can enhance the quality of life of persons with disabilities and begin to change public attitudes towards this part of the population.
With support from the Eurasia Foundation, this project has produced Handbook on Community Living and Employment, a resource guide co-authored by U.S. and Russian experts that is accompanied by case studies and concrete examples of innovative approaches to community living and competitive supported employment. The handbook is accompanied by learning modules that cover the same topics.
- Eurasia Foundation
- Ordinary Childhood [Russia]
Community-based Rehabilitation Approaches for Family Caregivers and People Who Support Adults and Children with Disabilities [Archived] [Archived]
Presents two-day trainings in Liberia that teach individuals with disabilities, family members, and community volunteers about community-based rehabilitation (CBR) methods and the rights of people with disabilities in the Liberian context. ICI, Zambian home-based special education expert Mikala Mukongolwa, and the Catholic Diocese of Monrovia and Gbarnga in Liberia, are combining resources to strengthen CBR in Liberia.
The World Health Organization and UNESCO recognize CBR as a model for community rehabilitation and provision of therapeutic supports to people with disabilities in remote and rural indigenous communities. Supports in Liberia are centralized, obligating family caregivers to travel long distances - often on foot - to rural health centers, but CBR builds local volunteer networks to support people with disabilities in their own communities. This means services and supports that improve their overall functioning and quality of life (e.g., mobility, special education, employment). CBR promotes equal opportunity and the social inclusion of people with disabilities.
This project builds on connections and experiences developed by ICI staff through earlier work in Zambia doing CBR training with people with disabilities, family members, community leaders, and people from faith-based organizations. The goal is to seek additional funding and replicate the work ICI has done in Zambia using the CBR or home-based education model in Liberia.
Assessments of Students with Significant Disabilities: A Russia-U.S. Partnership (UPP) [Archived]
Establishes a partnership between the University of Minnesota (UMN) and Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University (KSPU), Russia, to develop and evaluate a system of formative assessment suited for use with students with significant disabilities (e.g. intellectual and multiple disabilities). Given the special learning needs of such students, teachers in both countries are struggling to meaningfully assess academic progress in basic subjects. In this project, University faculty at UMN and KSPU conduct joint research to develop and evaluate the technical properties of a technology-assisted, curriculum-based system of assessment designed to meaningfully assess students with significant disabilities.