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Florida Outcome Improvement Network

The Florida Outcome Improvement Project (formerly the Organizational Change Mentoring Project) is a statewide technical assistance and training project that has been coordinated through the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities since 1999. Over the past year the project has expanded in three areas. The first area of expansion was the inclusion of the remaining five CARD sites in the provision of technical assistance and training. The second area was the development of a collaborative relationship with ARC/Florida, The Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, and the Florida Association for Persons in Supported Employment. The third area involved the development of a technical assistance and training consortium consisting of CARD, the Technology, Inclusion, and Employment Program through the University of Tennessee, and the Program for Rehabilitation Leadership through Georgia State University. The mission of the Florida Outcome Improvement Project is to assist a network of state association members in the improvement of organizational outcomes and effectiveness with an emphasis on employment and community integration. The provision of services no longer takes an “all or nothing approach,” but rather offers training and technical assistance in the areas of organizational development and program development based on the needs of the individual organizations as identified through an organizational assessment.

The 2000/2001 project year included the addition of four organizations, (The Conklin Center, Manasota Arc, MacDonald Training Center, and Hillsborough Arc), bringing the total number of participating organizations to 12 throughout the state of Florida. The project continues to be funded through the Florida Developmental Disabilities Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Florida’s Positive Behavior Support Project

Florida’s Positive Behavior Support Project (PBS) offers information, training, consultation, and on-site coaching to school districts in order to expedite the resolution of serious problem behavior and to build capacity of personnel using positive, assessment-based intervention approaches with students who have disabilities and significant behavior challenges.

This project is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of special and regular education teachers, related services personnel, administrators, family members, and outside agency personnel in order to build district-wide capacity in addressing challenging behavior within a team environment.

Funded by the Department of Education’s Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services, the Positive Behavior Support Project offers a flexible, individually tailored format for delivering information, training, consultation, and on-site support to district personnel and other support providers.

The intent of the project is to build capacity by tapping into existing resources within communities and to work collaboratively with districts to maximize their knowledge and skills in applying positive behavior support approaches (i.e., rather than relying on external consultants).

A state training team made up of representatives from Florida CARD Centers, the Florida Department of Education, family organizations, human services agencies, families, and other community-based service providers work in coordination with this project. Members of this team provide comprehensive training in local communities and maintain a network that also includes national experts and liaisons from communities in which the training has been provided.