National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

Webcast 4
Capacity Building and Cultural Competence When Working with Minority Populations

November 16, 2006, 2:00 PM CST

About the Webcast

The Center for Capacity Building on Minorities with Disabilities Research (CBMDR) attempts to increase the capacity of community-based organizations (CBOs) like Centers for Independent Living and other agencies) and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (VR) to document the impact of their programs and develop culturally competent services. The CBMDR utilizes participatory research methodologies to promote organizational change. The Center's mission is to promote positive rehabilitation outcomes for minority individuals with disabilities at the national level. Center staff is conducting participatory research and demonstration projects in collaboration with interested agencies, engaging in active dissemination efforts, and providing state-of-the art training and technical assistance on cultural competence to professionals and researchers in the field.

This presentation will include two parts. The first part will summarize the Capacity Building activities being conducted by center staff. The Center utilizes a participatory program evaluation model which actively involves consumers and agency staff in the process of identifying service needs, selecting program goals, developing a logic model for success, and implementing and evaluating change efforts to address critical needs and improve services. From this perspective, participating agencies develop their capacity for effectively using consumer input and program data to identify research questions and methods to improve services. We will summarize our progress to date.

The second part of the presentation will describe our conceptual framework for cultural competence training, review the factors that determine cultural diversity, and summarize our training activities in this area to date. Cultural diversity is constantly challenging our ability to outreach and effectively involve minority individuals with disabilities in our research projects and/or services. We will discuss some of the strategies that appear to be beneficial in this area.

About the Presenters

Fabricio E. Balcazar, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Balcazar has conducted research over the past 25 years on the development of systematic approaches for promoting the empowerment of minorities and under-served populations, including Latinos with disabilities and their families. His research has included the development and evaluation of approaches for promoting empowerment approaches to vocational rehabilitation service delivery, school-to-work transition, dropout prevention, the promotion of the ADA in Latino neighborhoods, and career development leading to employment opportunities for minority youth with disabilities. Dr. Balcazar is the director of the NIDRR-funded Center for Capacity Building on Minorities with Disabilities Research and has been actively engaged in the development and dissemination of cultural competence trainings for researchers and service providers. Dr. Balcazar is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Yolanda Suárez is a Professor and Head of the Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interest and expertise include the study of participatory and empowerment evaluation of community health initiatives, university-community partnerships, participatory needs assessment methodologies with people with disabilities and issues of multicultural training and diversity. She is the Co-Director of the Center on Capacity Building for Minorities with Disabilities and coordinates the capacity building component, working with agencies to develop effective participatory strategies to assess the impact of their services on consumers with disabilities. She and her colleagues at the University of Kansas developed a needs assessment methodology, using a participatory action research approach, to identify the community needs of individuals with disabilities called the Concerns Report Method. This methodology has been used as a tool for action and replicated with multiple diverse populations, particularly people with disabilities and marginalized populations. Dr. Suárez is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

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Presentation Materials

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This webcast is supported through the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), which is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education, and is supported in part by ILRU. The opinions and views expressed are those of the presenters and no endorsement by the funding agency should be inferred.

Last Updated: Monday, 16 June 2014 at 09:28 AM CST

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NCDDR is funded by the
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Project Number: H133A060028
U.S. Department of Education