The Northern Arizona University, Institute for Human Development, is very pleased to announce that we received a five-year grant in October 2015 from the U.S Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The purpose is to develop the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Training and Technical Assistance Center (AIVRTTAC), and provide three types of training and technical assistance (TA) to the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) programs. There are currently 83 AIVRS programs located on tribal lands in 25 states serving tribal members with disabilities to prepare for gainful employment. Dr. Lee Gaseoma is the Project Director for AIVRTTAC.

The Department awarded this grant as a cooperative agreement as authorized by 34 CFR 75.200 (b) (4) meaning that there will be substantial involvement between the Department and Northern Arizona University in order to carry out this collaborative project.  The following three different types of training and TA will be provided by the AIVRTTAC:

Intensive, sustained training and technical assistance means:

  • TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the AIVRTTAC staff and the AIVRS training and TA recipient.
  • “Technical assistance services” are defined as negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome.
  • This category of training and TA should result in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity of improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

Targeted, specialized training and technical assistance means:

  • TA based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized.  A relationship is established between the AIVRS training and TA recipient and one or more AIVRTTAC staff.
  • This category of training and TA includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences.  It can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the AIVRS recipients.
  • Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized training and TA.

Universal, general training and technical assistance means:

  • Training and TA and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with AIVRTTAC staff and including one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by AIVRTTAC staff.
  • This category of training and TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the AIVRTTAC’s Web site by independent users.
  • Brief communications by AIVRTTAC staff with AIVRS recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general training and TA.

The AIVRTTAC will also provide for the AIVRS programs webinars, self-paced training, and regional training and develop quarterly evidence-based practice guides, on-line newsletters, videos, and FAQ documents. Any tribal VR program not funded by RSA requesting AIVRTTAC training and TA services must be referred to RSA for assistance.