College of Education and Health Professions

Current Projects

Partners Project Lists: Click here to download a printable Partners Project List.

Access to Recovery III (ATR)

Arkansas ATR is a grant-funded initiative which provides vouchers for clients in need of substance use disorder clinical treatment and recovery support services. The goals of the program are to expand capacity, support client choice, and increase the array of faith-based and community-based providers for treatment and recovery support services. The program will serve adults who meet one of the four (4) target population groups listed below, and who have a current substance use disorder, live at or below 200% of Federal Poverty, and reside in one of the 13 counties: Benton, Craighead, Crawford, Faulkner, Garland, Independence, Jefferson, Lonoke, Pulaski, Saline, Sebastian, Washington, and White counties. The individual must meet one of the following target population groups.

  1. Member of the Arkansas National Guard/Reserves or returning combat veteran; or
  2. Person with multiple DUI/DWI offenses; or
  3. Pregnant woman; or
  4. Adults in families with (or at risk of) involvement with Arkansas Division of Children & Family Services (DCFS), or Division of Youth Services (DYS).

Voucher funds will support supplemental needs such as clothing, food, utility assistance, medical and dental care; addiction and mental health treatment services; child care, drug-free housing; life skills training; spiritual support, and other recovery services. Arkansas ATR is a partnership initiative with Arkansas DHS, Division of Behavioral Health Services, and is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Click here for the ATR Client Referral website (ATR will stop taking referrals after July 31, 2014).

Ann Patterson, MHSA

Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) Core Grant

This serves as the administrative grant that establishes Partners for Inclusive Communities as the University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) for Arkansas. It allows for a broad collection of activities in areas of training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing, with a focus on building the capacity of communities to sustain all their citizens.

David Deere, M.S.W., M.Th.

Arkansas Autism Resource and Outreach Center (AAROC)

The primary purpose of the Arkansas Autism Resource and Outreach Center is to provide training, technical assistance and support for parents who have children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The Center will assist parents to understand what this diagnosis means for their family, how to navigate the service system, how to engage with special education services in the schools and practical strategies they can use at home to support their child’s development. Activities have been supported by a variety of funding sources including general revenue from the Governor’s office, GIF funds and donations from a parentally created non-profit organization, AAROC, Inc.

Karan B. Burnette, M.A., CCC-SLP

Arkansas Disability and Health Program

The Arkansas Disability and Health Program is one of 16 state projects funded by the National Center on Birth Defects and Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta GA. The goals of this project are to promote good health of Arkansans with disabilities, to increase access to health care for persons with disabilities and to identify interventions to reduce or eliminate secondary conditions.

Vanessa Nehus, M.A.

Arkansas Autism Partnership (AAP)

The AAP is the Medicaid waiver program for young children with autism between the ages of 18 months and 7 years (must be accepted and begin the program before the 5th birthday to be eligible). Partners serves as the administrative agency for daily operation of the program statewide, via contractual arrangement with the Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. This program will fund a team of professionals and paraprofessionals to evaluate eligible children and provide one-on-one intervention in their homes for a minimum of 20 hours and a maximum of 30 hours per week. This team will utilize individualized strategies that have been proven effective with children with autism in building their skills in areas of cognition, communication, self-care, socialization and appropriate behavior. Parents will be trained and included as members of the team. If you are interested in applying for services, download the AAP application packet. Applications continue to be accepted. If all slots are filled, applicants will be placed on a waiting list until a slot becomes available. Please note that all applications must be returned directly to Partners at the address listed on the last page of the application, NOT to the DHS Office.  Download AAP Brochure.

Karan Burnette, Director,

Naomi Armstrong, AAP Coordinator,

Vickie Tankersley, AAP Coordinator,

Linda VanBlaricom, AAP Coordinator,

Arkansas PROMISE

AR PROMISE is a research grant seeking to improve educational and employment outcomes for youth SSI recipients. The US Department of Education awarded the grant to Arkansas in Oct 2013. The University of Arkansas is working with several state agencies and other private organizations to provide a coordinated set of services, two paid work experiences and intensive case management to 1,000 youth over the next five years. An additional 1,000 youth will be assigned to a control group. Outcomes will be evaluated during and after the five-year grant period.

Philip Adams, (RHRC); 501-301-1102; toll free 855-649-0022
PROMISE website

Arkansas Navigator Coalition

(Funder - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services/Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight) The goal of this project is to assist people, who were previously uninsured, to purchase insurance through the Arkansas Health Connector, the Insurance Marketplace in Arkansas. Partners is the lead agency on this project and is working with 17 other agencies and associations to accomplish the task. 

David Wright,, and Jonathan Sheets,

Crime Victims with Disabilities Project

Partners, in conjunction with collaborators from numerous state agencies, nonprofit organizations, victim services organizations, and local multidisciplinary teams, has worked to establish a network of education and technical assistance to improve services for people with disabilities who experience violence. The goal of this project is a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to improving the criminal justice system's response to violent crimes and increasing their capacity to address the needs of people with disabilities. This project supports victims with disabilities through a training and co-advocacy initiative and is overseen by a statewide advisory committee representing diverse fields. This effort is a subaward funded through the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration's Victims Justice Assistance Project with funding from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Roberta E. Sick, M.Ed., C.R.C., L.P.C.,

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Foster Care

In collaboration with the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Pulaski County Juvenile Courts, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences evaluation team, this project will screen, and when indicated evaluate for FASD, all children under the age of six who live in Pulaski County and are entering foster care. Partners will provide training about FASD, strategies for supporting behaviors, and approaches to education to DCFS and Juvenile Court workers and others involved with the children, such as foster parents, teachers, and early childhood workers. Partners will also evaluate the outcomes of the project.

David Deere, M.S.W., M.Th.

Health Benefits Exchange

Partners is taking the lead on gathering public input for the design of the Health Insurance Exchange that is a key component of the Affordable Care Act (health care reform). Under a contract with the Arkansas Insurance Department, Partners is working with the College of Public Health to collect feedback from consumers, health care providers, business leaders, and insurance companies. Activities of this project include key informant interviews, community forums, and surveys, with a written report provided to the Insurance Commissioner.

David Deere, M.S.W., M.Th.

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND)

This project provides pre-service interdisciplinary training for students from disciplines serving children with developmental disabilities and in-service training for professionals in the field. It Infuses core curriculum components in developmental disabilities and family-centered care.

David Deere, M.S.W., M.Th.

Safety and Sexual Violence Prevention Project

The overall goal of this project is to promote efforts that help prevent the critical problem of rape and sexual assault among people with disabilities. The focus is to prevent the initial occurrence of violence; to educate on factors that put people with disabilities at risk by providing information related to healthy relationships/boundaries both to staff in programs that work with people with disabilities and to people with disabilities (self-advocates). The Safety and Sexual Violence Prevention Project is funded by the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence. It works in conjunction with several other Commission funded projects, providers of services to people with disabilities, and self-advocates. Information for people with disabilities is typically provided through multi-session workshops and includes such topics as: characteristics of healthy relationships, understanding and developing boundaries, privacy awareness, safety and recognizing abuse.

Roberta E. Sick, M.Ed., C.R.C., L.P.C.

Welcome the Children

The goal of Welcome the Children is to assist early childhood professionals to better understand diversity, appreciate cultural differences and similarities, learn strategies to support English Language Learners, and promote inclusion. To accomplish this goal, statewide personalized training and technical assistance is delivered to Arkansas early childhood professionals in the following topic areas: (1) Diversity in children and families, (2) Inclusion of children with disabilities, (3) English Language Learners, and (4) dual language interpreters/translators. Download current workshop menu.

Brenda Reynolds, B.A.,

Additional Collaborations

Arkansas Can Do, Inc.

This group is a collaboration of individuals with disabilities, family members and professionals whose purpose is to increase the positive perceptions of all people regarding the vitality, importance and value of persons with disabilities.

Judy Young, B.A.

Arkansas Homeless Coalition

Since many of the people who are homeless are people with disabilities, Partners joined with Arkansas Supportive Housing Network (ASHN) to organize Arkansas Homeless Coalition (AHC). ASHN is an organization dedicated to providing housing for people with disabilities who are homeless. The Arkansas Homeless Coalition is a dynamic organization whose membership includes homeless advocates, service providers, faith-based communities, homeless and formerly homeless persons, academics and many others. These individuals are committed to identifying and addressing policy barriers and issues that prevent movement and that trap men, women, and children in the cycle of homelessness. AHC is a collaborative effort of the individuals and agencies who address the challenges of homelessness in the state. AHC strives to prevent homelessness as well as increase the ability of the community to respond to individual needs.

David Deere, M.S.W., M.Th.

Faith-based Initiative

The Faith-based Initiative is an un-funded project that responds to families who expressed an inability to participate in worship and other ministries of their faith due to having a family member with a disability. This project invites interested parties including families, local houses of worship, and state associations to come together to identify places where best practice of including individuals with disabilities in ministry occurs. The project seeks out examples of inclusion within existing programs, as well as outreach ministries to individuals and families in the community.

David Deere, M.S.W., M.Th.

Partners for Inclusive Communities