CPR and partners awarded federal grant to create Center on Youth Voice Youth Choice

Center for Public Representation is to honored to announce that we are part of a group of organizations that has been awarded a five-year grant from the Administration for Community Living. The grant is to implement a national Alternatives to Guardianship Youth Resource Center, which will be called the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice.

The partnership is led by the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice (CYVYC) will work to increase the use of guardianship alternatives by youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities to maximize self-determination and autonomy.

The partnership is led by the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and includes Center for Public Representation, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), consultants from the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and the Georgia Advocacy Office, and subject matter experts, including disability activists, educators, parents, and advocates.

The new center will conduct research, create a sustainable model for capacity building and resource dissemination, and form a Youth Ambassador program that will train youth in leadership development and mentoring. In addition to directly engaging youth with IDD in the work of the project, it will be guided by an advisory committee, 75% of whom will be youth with IDD.

Principal Investigator Allison Hall of ICI explained, “Our research finds there is limited information on alternatives to guardianship for youth with IDD. We are excited to bring the voice of young adults with IDD into this work and support youth as leaders and change agents.”

The Center will be informed by ICI’s existing research funded by the Institute on Education Science, U.S. Department of Education, on how alternatives to guardianship during the transition process contribute to post-school outcomes.

If you would like to get involved with the work of the Center on Youth Voice Youth Choice, we would love to hear from you!

ICI’s Director, Cindy Thomas also notes, “CPR, HSRI and the Georgia Advocacy Project have led efforts to design, implement and evaluate supported decision-making pilots.  This work, along with the extensive array of resources developed by CPR will provide a strong foundation for the Center. I am excited by the opportunity ICI has to lead this work in partnership with a tremendous team.”