SEDL Receives More Than $2 Million in New Funding for Work Around Autism and Knowledge Translation

September 30, 2008
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

SEDL’s Disability Research to Practice program has received funding totaling more than $2 million for two new projects: one in partnership with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of Central Florida; the other as a subcontractor with the new Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer at State University of New York – Buffalo (SUNY – Buffalo).

The partnership between SEDL and the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of Central Florida (UCF CARD), focuses on improving vocational rehabilitation and transition services for persons with autism and related disorders (which are known as autism spectrum disorders or ASDs). Research activities include conducting two systematic reviews, implementing a rigorous process for identifying and validating vocational rehabilitation best practices, producing cases studies of individuals with ASD and their families, and studying the statewide network of CARD centers in Florida.  For this work, SEDL was awarded $1.75 million over a 5-year period.

The initiative is important due to the fact that rates of ASD are increasing, while employment rates for people with disabilities are declining. People with ASD experience even lower employment rates than other persons with disabilities. Project goals include building new knowledge and understanding, on-the-ground changes within the vocational rehabilitation system, and increased employment among persons with ASDs.

The second award is a subcontract between SEDL and SUNY – Buffalo. It amounts to $294,000 over a 5-year period. SUNY’s new Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT3) will support and improve knowledge translation efforts of National Institute for the Dissemination of Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) technology-focused grantees. SEDL will work with the KT3 staff to help grantees develop and implement plans for knowledge translation and technology transfer. In addition, SEDL will support the project's knowledge dissemination and utilization components including production of two Web casts each year on knowledge translation and technology transfer topics. SEDL will recruit presenters and participants and provide a Q&A forum as a follow up to each webcast. SEDL will also produce technical briefs each year for NIDRR grantees to introduce new and relevant information about knowledge translation and technology transfer and organize and facilitate a community of practice for NIDRR's technology grantees and other stakeholders.

About SEDL

SEDL (formerly Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit