The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI) at Wayne State University recently received a $2.9 million, five-year grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL). ACL is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was founded on the principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities.
MI-DDI delivers on ACL’s mission in Michigan and is part of a national network of University Centers for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). The Institute contributes to the development of inclusive communities and quality of life for Michigan residents with disabilities and their families. This is done through a culturally-sensitive statewide program of training and education, community supports and services, research and innovation, and information development and sharing.
This continued funding will further enable MI-DDI to provide services and supports to millions of individuals with disabilities, family members, advocates, and professionals. It will also allow MI-DDI staff to continue to collaborate with WSU faculty and researchers on projects addressing mobility and accessible transportation, the experiences of college students with disabilities, and the support needs of aging caregivers of adults with disabilities.
“We are excited to build upon the many years of work Institute staff have engaged in on behalf of people with disabilities and their families across Michigan.” said MI-DDI Director, Dr. Sharon Milberger. “ACL’s ongoing support will allow MI-DDI to continue work with our statewide network of partners and further facilitate ongoing collaborations with members of Wayne State’s research community.”
As part of the national UCEDD network, MI-DDI must reapply to ACL for core funding every 5 years. In addition to meeting pre-specified goals and outcomes, MI-DDI must leverage these funds by securing other grant funded work that aligns with its mission. These efforts have resulted in collaborative research projects, programs, and contracts that have connected MI-DDI with numerous community partners, university researchers, and national organizations.
“This is great news for the state of Michigan, as this will ensure that our work can continue to serve the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities” said Milberger. “Building inclusive and equitable communities requires the contributions of many different stakeholders and organizations. We will be able to continue to build the partnerships that are vital to accomplishing this mission.”