Illinois Inroads to Inclusion - January 2010 

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Illinois Inroads to Inclusion – January 2010 [PDF, 337KB]

By Lois Barnhart, Illinois Disability Outreach Coordinator

Volume 2, Issue 1 – January 2010

Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

The Serve America Act passed March 26, 2009 reauthorizes and expands the mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service. It increases the opportunity for Americans of all ages to serve setting a goal of 250,000 AmeriCorps positions by 2017. This is up from 75,000 in 2009. It establishes a Summer of Service program providing education awards for 6th-12th graders; a semester of service for high school students and youth Empowerment Zones for secondary students and out of school youth. It expands the age and income eligibility for Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions. It allows for Silver Scholars awards to individuals 55 or over. It includes the option to transfer education credits to children or grandchildren. It supports innovation and strengthens the nonprofit sector. It creates a Social Innovation Fund expanding proven initiatives and provides seed funding for experimental initiatives. This is just a brief overview of the vision and expansion the Serve America Act provides. In the year ahead, the Serve Illinois Commission plans to forge ahead in the area of inclusion and recruitment of persons with disabilities into AmeriCorps programs. It is the hope that with concentrated training and targeted outreach, Illinois will increase the numbers of persons with disability who are in service throughout the state.

Reasonable Accommodations, Training and Technical Assistance

The Edward Kennedy Serve America Act became effective 10-01-2009. One of the aspects of this act which has become immediately effective is the acquisition of funds to be utilized for meeting the needs of AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve individuals who are currently members in service who have a disability. Prior to the Serve America Act, these monies were available only to AmeriCorps members. If you are a member in need of assistance—reasonable accommodation, training or technical assistance—please do not hesitate to call the Illinois Disability Outreach Coordinator.

Contact Information

Lois Barnhart
500 Anchor Road
Dixon, 61021
815-288-6691 x 282
E-mail Lois Barnhart

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