3 E.D. Centers Will Focus on Handicapped Infants

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WASHINGTON--The Education Department has announced that it will establish three research institutes to study how state and local education agencies are meeting the needs of handicapped infants and toddlers, and to develop new services for them.

Nonprofit groups, including universities and state and local education agencies, are eligible to submit applications for the $1.2-million, two-year grants that will be awarded to operate each of the three centers on early-childhood education and development. Grant recipients would have to apply for additional funds after the first two years.

The Congress authorized the centers' creation last year in the measure that extended the Education of the Handicapped Act.

Centers' Missions

The center that would conduct research on state and local policy development would have two key functions, according to the department.

First, its mission would be to "conduct descriptive studies that would identify, document, and analyze existing policies and policy-development activities related to establishing comprehensive services for infants and toddlers with handicaps and their families.''

The institute's second function would be "to conduct explanatory research that includes, but is not limited to, studies that determine'':
The pros and cons of state policies in providing comprehensive services.
Variations in available services among the states.
State and local incentives and disincentives for establishing services.
Policy practices and models to help state and local agencies develop services.
Alternative regulatory changes that states could make to facilitate the development of comprehensive services.

A second institute would be established "to develop new or improved interventions for infants and toddlers with handicaps who, because of the nature of their disabilities, require extensive medical care in hospital intensive-care units, and who may require life-supporting technologies and systems of health care.''

The third center would be established "to develop, evaluate, and disseminate'' new or improved materials to train special-education personnel in the delivery of services to handicapped infants and toddlers.

The establishment of the new centers would raise the total number of research-and-development units operated by the department to 20. The agency currently has 13 centers; in March, it announced plans to finance four additional institutions to conduct research in mathematics, science, literature, and all subjects taught in elementary schools. (See Education Week, March 25, 1987.)

Grant applications for the early-childhood centers must be submitted by June 30. The application deadline for the centers announced in March is June 26.

For more information on the early-childhood institutes, or to obtain application forms, write to Linda Glidewell, Division of Innovation and Development, Office of Special Education Programs, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202, or call (202) 732-1099.

Vol. 06, Issue 36

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