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Release: Nov. 2, 2001

Disability law center shares U.S. Department of Labor workforce grant

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Law Health Policy & Disability Center at the University of Iowa will receive $100,000 as part of a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Labor grant that is intended to increase employment opportunities for adults with disabilities and the state and local programs that serve them.

The director of the Center and principal investigator of the project, law professor Peter Blanck, notes that the grant was disbursed to aid One-Stop Career Centers, which are federally backed networks of employment, training and educational programs offered by states. The project also is to assist state and local Workforce Investment Boards and leaders who oversee adult-oriented employment programs.

The Iowa Disability Center is one of eight programs and national organizations that will receive a portion of the funds as partners of the National Disability Technical Assistance Consortium on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, which received the grant from the Department of Labor.

Blanck said that "the grant will compliment existing grants and contracts to the Center which fund technical assistance and research projects in Iowa and nationally." Additionally, the labor department grant is renewable at $1.2 million for up to five years and, if renewed, the Center would expect to receive annually $100,000.

In all, the labor department is poised to distribute $11.3 million this year in grants in support of the president's New Freedom Initiative, instituted to remove barriers to community living and employment for people with disabilities.

In a statement announcing the awarding of the grants, Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Labor Secretary, said that the various grantees are tasked with developing model programs or technical assistance initiatives that "strengthen the capacity" of the programs "to serve people with disabilities." The Law Health Policy & Disability Center collaborates with law, health care and rehabilitation professionals, and policy-makers to devise new and enhance existing programs and policies that increase the quality of life and the employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. For more information about the Center’s projects, visit http://www.its.uiowa.edu/law/.