SU’s Burton Blatt Institute receives $5.5 million from U.S. Dept. of Education to lead Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center servicing southeastern United States
SU’s Burton Blatt Institute receives $5.5 million from U.S. Dept. of Education to lead Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center servicing southeastern United StatesOctober 05, 2006Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
The Burton Blatt Institute: Centers of Innovation on Disability at Syracuse University (BBI) has received a $5.5 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to lead an Atlanta-based Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) that services the southeastern United States.
The already-established Southeast DBTAC serves an eight-state geographic region spanning Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It is one of 10 regional centers dealing with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessible information technology in education (IT) funded by NIDRR since 1991. The SE DBTAC offers core services to promote awareness about the ADA, IT and the rights and abilities of people with disabilities, including technical assistance, materials dissemination, training, referrals and public awareness.
“This is a tremendous achievement for BBI and our university. BBI has greatly expanded their role — both nationally and internationally — in advancing the civil rights of persons with disabilities,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “BBI perfectly exemplifies SU’s Scholarship in Action vision by engaging the world to address the critical social challenges we face.”
“BBI and Syracuse University are fortunate and excited to partner on the SE DBTAC project. Over the past 15 years, this project has steadily and importantly expanded the region’s capacity to facilitate voluntary compliance with, and transcendence of, the Americans with Disabilities Act,” says Peter Blanck, University Professor at SU and chair of BBI.
Through the NIDRR grant, the Syracuse-headquartered institute adds an Atlanta office, in addition to affiliated operations in New York, Washington, D.C., and Iowa City, Iowa. The Atlanta office adds a stellar group of researchers, policy experts and advocates to BBI’s steadily growing roster. Shelley Kaplan, a field leader and innovator in disability studies, leads the effort from Atlanta with extensive distance learning, outreach, educational and research activities already under way.
“Guided by individuals representing disability, business and government entities, the SE DBTAC and its leadership council have and will continue to effectively meet ADA-related information, training and technical assistance needs,” says Kaplan.
The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) takes its name from Burton Blatt, a pioneer in humanizing services for people with mental retardation, staunch advocate of deinstitutionalization and national leader in special education. BBI works to advance the civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society by fostering public-private dialogue and building the capacity to transform policy, systems and people through inclusive education, the workforce and communities. For more information, visit http://bbi.syr.edu.