Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $178,870)
The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) will implement an intervention program targeting at least 30 high-risk youth, with sensory and multiple disabilities. Family member and educators will participate using multisystemic therapy/wraparound case management methodologies. Overcoming Communication Barriers defines 'at-risk' youth as deaf, blind, and/or multi-sensory disabled at high risk of losing placement within AIDB and West Central Alabama Local Education Agencies. Youth will receive individualized counseling and case management services from a team of professionals including governmental/state/municipal/private/faith-based agencies. Up to 60 guardians and countless numbers of AIDB/LEA staff will receive in-depth training. Evaluation will include: numbers served; service provided; research/assessment data used to determine need; and impact data will be documented. Conclusions/suggested therapies will be included in students' Individualized Education Plans. Longitudinal follow-up will include individual Personal Futures Plan development and student, guardian and staff outcomes. Best Practices Guidelines will be developed.