The Thompson Policy Institute on Disability (TPI) is continuing to grow in its impact and support. With three new grants totaling more than $1.2 million, TPI is expanding its capacity to work alongside the disability community in improving equitable, accessible and nurturing environments for learning and living.
These newly funded initiatives include strategic support for principal leadership, teacher residency staffing and business partnerships.
The largest of these grants is for $800,000 from Oak Foundation, supporting inclusive principal leadership.
The three-year grant provides professional learning support to school administrators (principals) and future school leaders around inclusive practices. Through the grant, TPI will provide ongoing learning opportunities, network improvement communities and annual convenings to principals and faculty.
This initiative centers equity, access and inclusion for students with disabilities and particularly recognizes the intersection of issues regarding disability, race, language and socio-economic status.
“School leaders are at the forefront of ensuring equity and access for all students, including students with disabilities,” said Meghan Cosier, Ph.D., TPI director. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to build a networked improvement community of committed school leaders and school leadership faculty focused on best practices in inclusive education.”
$300,000 Grant Supports Strategic Staffing for Teacher Residencies
The California Educator Preparation Innovation Collaborative (CalEPIC) at TPI has received a $300,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work alongside school districts and educator preparation programs (EPPs) in implementing strategic staffing models that support sustainable, high-quality teacher residencies.
This work will enhance CalEPIC’s capacity to support Local Educational Agency partners and EPPs in recruiting and retaining a diverse teaching workforce.
“At CalEPIC, our aim is to center disability, equity and justice as we work toward creating sustainable systems that support educator preparation programs and a thriving teaching workforce,” said Charlotte Achieng Evensen, Ph.D. CalEPIC senior transformation specialist at the Thompson Policy Institute on Disability. “This new strategic staffing grant allows us to provide technical assistance to our higher education and TK-12 partners in their collaborative goal of diversifying the teacher pipeline.”
$163,189 Grant Funds OC Business Partner Intermediary Initiative
The third TPI grant is for $163,189 from the California Department of Developmental Services to develop the Orange County Business Partner Intermediary (OCBPI) initiative. The grant support is shared by TPI and partner service organizations in the Orange County Local Partnership Agreement.
The award supports the development of an innovative approach to organize Orange County’s business partner resources to serve Individuals with developmental disabilities as well as businesses, families, educators and service providers. Among the objectives is a methodology for service organizations to identify competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. The initiative will also support businesses in hiring and retaining youth and adults with a wide range of disabilities who are clients of the Regional Center of Orange County.
“The Orange County Business Partner Intermediary Initiative grant enhances TPI’s current transition initiatives that support individuals with developmental disabilities in gaining meaningful employment,” said Audri Sandoval Gomez, Ph.D., TPI co-director.