University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

Project evolve PLUS


Evolve PLus Logo

What is Project EVOLVE Plus?

Project EVOLVE Plus offers school-based research, training, technical assistance, and collaborative consultation on fee-for-service basis through the Center on Disability & Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont (UVM). Project EVOLVE Plus extends the earlier work of Project EVOLVE (2002 - 2007), a federally-funded model demonstration project that explored alternatives to overreliance on paraprofessionals to support students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. The Plus has been added because this service addresses additional topical areas that have been field-tested and researched by project staff.

What is the mission?

The mission of Project EVOLVE Plus is to work collaboratively with school personnel, self-advocates, families, and service providers to increase the probability that the lives of students with disabilities will be better because they were educated in our schools. We seek to accomplish this by: (1) adhering to values embedded in the Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) (e.g., importance of educating all children, individualization, access to supports, least restrictive environment, access to the general education curriculum, access to qualified personnel); (2) pursuing logical practices that help us operationalize those values; and (3) research to help determine if our practices have been effective and assist us in more fully understanding them.

What are the main topical areas available to be addressed?

  • Meaningful Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in General Education
  • Alternatives to Overreliance on Paraprofessionals
  • Effective Utilization, Training, & Supervision of Paraprofessionals
  • Special Education Service Delivery
  • Guidelines for Making Decisions about IEP Services (e.g., related services)
  • Curriculum Planning for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities (e.g., COACH)
  • Multi-Level Curriculum/Instruction and Curriculum Overlapping

What services will be provided?

The specific services provided by Project EVOLVE Plus will be individually negotiated with a leadership team designated by the school district; examples include:

  • Assist in determining locally important research questions
  • Collect, analyze and report on school data (e.g., Numbers that Count)
  • Provide training, technical assistance, or mentoring on supported topics
  • Serve as an external "critical friend" or "coach"
  • Facilitate problem-solving and action-planning
  • Evaluate outcomes

Project EVOLVE Plus will maintain a web site with up-to-date resources, a lending library with resources on supported topics, and network with national experts on the supported topics.

Why should schools consider investing resources in Project EVOLVE Plus?

  • Improve academic, functional, and social outcomes for students
  • Increase knowledge and skills of personnel
  • Improve partnerships with families
  • Use resources more effectively
  • Avoid risks associated with questionable (though common) practices
  • Ensure adherence to IDEA (2004)
  • Contribute to the field by informing policy and practice

Who will provide the services?

Project Director,  Michael F. Giangreco, Ph.D. (vita available upon request),
UVM Professor, Department of Education. 

Project Coordinator, Jesse C. Suter, Ph.D. (vita available upon request),
UVM Research Assistant Professor

How much does the service cost?

The service costs vary and will be determined based on the nature and extent of work requested by the school or agency. Costs include primarily the personnel costs for faculty time (consultants if needed) and also include a small portion of secretarial support, indirect costs to the University for administration of the agreement, travel to and from on-site visits or for project related purposes, supplies, materials, maintaining the web site, and any miscellaneous expenditures related to the project activities.

What is the timeline for signing-up and participating?

Organizations interested in receiving services from Project EVOLVE Plus are encouraged express interest in the academic year prior to projected service provision. Since personnel time and availability on this project is limited at present, decisions about offering services are typically made quite far in advance. Some small-scale services may be agreed to on shorter notice during a school year as time and resources permit

How do we sign up to participate?

After initial discussions with the Project Director, all Project EVOLVE Plus activities are formalized through a written consultation agreement specifying the work plan and costs. This agreement is reviewed and signed by the Executive Director of UVM's Center on Disability & Community Inclusion (Susan M. Ryan, Ph.D.), the Project EVOLVE Director (Michael F. Giangreco, Ph.D.), and an authorized representative from the organization receiving services from Project EVOLVE Plus prior to commencing the agree upon work.

For more information contact:

Michael F. Giangreco. Ph.D.
University of Vermont, Center on Disability & Community Inclusion

Last modified November 02 2011 10:40 AM

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