Our Work

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.

Active Projects

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    Completed Projects

    • 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 new collaboration with U.S. and Japanese universities and Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., ICI’s Global Disability Rights and Inclusion group is studying these gaps and creating customized tools that promote meaningful employment and the social inclusion of people with disabilities in Japan.

      The project will include interviews and focus groups in Japan to determine the areas of greatest need. Two fact-finding visits, one in Japan and one in Minnesota, are also planned as a way to expose Japanese educators and others to customized employment programs in the United States. Eventually, the group expects to publish Japanese-language materials for educators and employers. 

      Funder
      U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan
      Collaborators
      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 increases the capacity of Kenyan business owners with disabilities to do business with the United States and improves the business environment and climate for people with disabilities. ICI leads the project with implementing partners. The project focuses on inclusion, disability rights, and training for instructors in business development and business plan training to work with people with disabilities across Kenya, particularly in the northern and coastal regions. The multi-directional learning helps promote 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.

      Funder
      U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs
      Subcontract from
      U.S. Embassy Nairobi
      Collaborators
      National Council for Persons with Disabilities [Kenya]
      Daystar University [Kenya]
      CAP Youth Empowerment Institute [Kenya]
    • Supporting the Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Kisangani

      This project collaborates 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 increases 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 increases 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.

      Funder
      U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs
      Subcontract from
      U.S. Embassy Kinshasa [Congo]
      Collaborators
      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

      Supports the inclusive community employment of youth and young adults with disabilities in Bhutan, a mountainous kingdom in south central Asia. This program of research and development will be conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan. ICI staff will develop and implement tools to assess employment for people with disabilities in Bhutan, reviewing services that support this outcome, and determining which, if any, additional services they would recommend. This information will be used in conjunction with current policy and legislation to promote community-based employment in Bhutan for young people with disabilities.

      Subcontract from
      University of Birmingham [United Kingdom]
      Funder
      Economic and Social Research Council [United Kingdom]
      Collaborators
      Royal Thimphu College [Bhutan]
      University of Birmingham [United Kingdom]
    • Developing Leadership Capacity in Inclusive Education: A U.S.-Ukrainian Partnership

      Builds 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 will affect pre-service teachers and students with and without disabilities. The project focuses on universities and schools outside the Kiev region where resources tend to be significantly less than in the capital region. 

      Seven experts will travel 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 will conduct seminars and mentoring sessions to enhance participants' capacity and leadership skills. Participants will also co-present 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, will develop 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 is a continuation of 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.

      Funder
      U.S. Embassy Ukraine
      Collaborators
      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.

      Funder
      Eurasia Foundation
      Collaborators
      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.

      Funder
      College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota
    • 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.

      Funder
      Eurasia Foundation
      Collaborators
      Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University [Russian Federation]