Two University of Utah professors have received a $285,000 grant to develop a program to place severely disabled people, many of whom were once thought unemployable, into "supported" jobs before they depart from high school.
The grant for what will be known as the Community Employment Placement Project was awarded to Michael L. Hardman, professor, and John McDonnell, associate professor, in the Department of Special Education.The project is part of a larger research effort that has been underway in the U. department for several years on how to help disabled people, primarily the mentally retarded, make a transition from public schools to successful lives. Hardman and McDonnell have received $1.5 million in grants for this transition research.
A few years ago, when the first severely disabled students turned 21 and left school programs, post-school services were not in place and that a few years after school, many were being institutionalized - their likely fate if they had never attended school.
Hardman and McDonnell have become nationally known for helping reform special education curricula.