University of Arkansas CURRENTS
In addition to our primary work as the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center for the Mid-South (Federal Region 6), CURRENTS manages and contributes to other grant-funded projects directly related to creating an inclusive world and empowering individuals to make their unique and valuable contributions. As projects are completed, we may take on new ones or collaborate with other organizations to address emerging needs. Below are links to our current projects.
Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE), a joint initiative of the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Labor and the Social Security Administration, was created to foster improved health, education, and post-secondary outcomes for children ages 14-17 who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as their families. The underlying premise of PROMISE is that improved coordination between services can improve outcomes for youth on SSI and their families.
CURRENTS led the development of Arkansas’ PROMISE model demonstration project, which involves a partnership between the Arkansas Department of Career Education, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas Department of Health, Sources for Community Independent Living Services, the Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas. Arkansas’ model provides intensive case management, training for youth SSI recipients and their families, and paid work experiences for youth SSI recipients. CURRENTS manages the training intervention, which includes monthly training opportunities during the school year on topics such as financial literacy, healthy eating and lifestyle, and dealing with conflict. An intensive two-week session will be offered during the summer on the campus of one of the state’s institutions of higher education.
Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI)
For more than fifty-five years, the IRI has been a national forum for discussing the important challenges facing the State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Program. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) sponsors the IRI in collaboration with representatives from the State VR agencies, consumer groups, the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Centers, and other stakeholders in the VR program, in order to facilitate the link between research findings and practitioners in the field. A primary study group of practitioners, educators, consumers, and partners is nominated to review the research and literature on a question or challenge faced by VR agencies. Sharing their various perspectives, experience, and lessons learned, the Primary Study Group develops a monograph which is published and distributed to the state VR agencies to use in staff training and program development.
All of the IRI documents from the 25th IRI to the 36th are available online http://www.iriforum.org/books.aspx and can be downloaded at no charge.
Beginning with the 29th IRI, documents contain questions for self-study at the end of each chapter. After reading the document and reviewing the self-study questions, VR professionals are encouraged to take the online exam http://www.iriforum.org/onlinecrc.aspx for that document. there is a small registration fee for the online exam, and crcs are awarded upon successful completion of the exam.