University of Oklahoma College of Allied Health faculty members received a $1.25 million federal grant to enact a training program that will will serve the needs of children with disabilities and health professionals in that field, according to a press release.
The Office of Special Education of the U.S. Department of Education issued the grant, which will center around a mentorship structure that will focus on training a group of community providers, who will go on to train doctoral students, and the doctoral students will likewise train entry-level students.
The program, which has been given five years of funding, will be implemented at three Oklahoma City-area schools that, according to the U.S. Department of Education, are defined as having high needs.
The program will connect students with disabilities with those in training. According to the press release, the goal of the program is to improve the traditional school experience of students with disabilities.
College of Allied Health Associate Professor Beth DeGrace, who holds a doctorate in occupational therapy, said a main goal of the program is helping students with disabilities to live more “fulfilling and productive lives.”
“Our hope is that by aiming beyond inclusive services to building a school community that supports the participation of children with disabilities, helping them have natural friendships, that they gain a belief in self that sets them up for a productive life,” DeGrace said in the press release.