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Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at SUBR receives grants totaling $13.1 million


Baton Rouge, LA - Southern University Baton Rouge's (SUBR) Department of Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies received $13.1 million in grants last month to fund the campus' Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (VRTAC-TC) (Project E3).

The center was awarded $2.5 million per year for five years, 2015-2020, a total of $12.5 million, and funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education.

The center is designed to improve vocational rehabilitation (VR) outcome of persons with disabilities from traditionally marginalized communities.

Project E3's team will provide intensive and focused technical assistance to all 80 State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation agencies and 20 targeted communities across the U.S. and its territories.

The anticipated outcome will increase vocational rehabilitation participation of persons with disabilities from these targeted communities leading to greater quality of employment outcome.

Madan M. Kundu, chair and professor, SUBR Department of Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies serves as the project director and Alo Dutta, associate professor, is the principal investigator.

"We will have the opportunity to work on a national project to better the advantage and get Southern on the map, so that we can serve the whole country dealing with people with disabilities," said Kundu. "There are 80 state vocational rehabilitation agencies so they will get some services from us."

This national project is a collaboration of Southern University Baton Rouge, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Stout, George Washington University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation.

In addition, the department received a $600,000, three-year (2015-2018) research grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Project CLAIM is designed to provide differential academic and employment-support services to transition SUBR students with disabilities leading to improved college completion and employment outcome.

The project will be implemented in collaboration of the Departments of English and Mathematics, and the Office of Disability Services in the Baton Rouge campus.