University of Wisconsin–Madison
Early Childhood

Community Inclusion

Within the Community Inclusion priority area, the Waisman Center works to support individuals with disabilities and their families to establish meaningful connections within their communities. Beyond individuals, we work to support systems to design services that are connected with other systems and integrated with natural supports. With proper information, tools and training individuals are more likely to be successful in establishing the meaningful, purposeful, mutually beneficial connections that are the foundation of inclusive and healthy communities. Within this area of emphasis, UCEDD activities are focused on providing information and assistance on community resources, promoting understanding and utilization of natural supports integrated within the more typical system supports and exploring and supporting how technology and other methodologies can be utilized to promote independent living.

Completed Projects

  • Enhancing Participation in Employment Settings through AAC
    This project aimed to explore the feasibility of using podcasting to increase the timely and consistent access to critical information and training related to supporting the communication of individuals who use AAC in the workplace.
  • Sound Response
    Sound Response was created to supplement direct staff support through the creative use of technical/mechanical supports. The Sound Response program is now Night Owl Support Systems, LLC.
  • Natural Supports Project
    This project disseminated creative and promising approaches for supporting youth with disabilities to participate more fully and naturally in school, work, and community activities.
  • Rhythms Program
    The Rhythms Program is a cooperative effort between the Waisman Center and Dane County Human Services to further enhance the lives of individuals who experience complex sensory and movement differences and those who support them. The program serves a specifically identified group of focus individuals by working directly with them and their teams to gain a deeper understanding of how they experience the world, then to develop the accommodations and supports that allow them to have greater access to their own gifts and talents and to participate more meaningfully in their lives.
  • Wisconsin Let’s Get  to Work
    The Waisman Center UCEDD is a partner within the leadership structure of the Wisconsin Let’s Get to Work Project that led by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, with funding from the federal  Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  The purpose of this project design and test strategies  to improve community employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in transition.  The project focuses on improving, developing and implementing policies and practices that raise community expectations and overall employment outcomes.
  • Wisconsin Self-Determination Conference
    In collaboration with WI BPDD, Waisman is helping coordinate this 2 ½ day conference with an emphasis on self-determination and self-advocacy skill development. Waisman provides content expertise on sessions, coordinates exhibitors, and provides scholarships for high school students with disabilities and their families and/or teachers to attend the conference.