We place great emphasis on the value of collaboration and partnership. Here are some of the current grants and projects that we are participating in across the state of Oregon.





Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Educators (PEICE) is a five-year Federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) grant project awarded to Western Oregon University. Project PIECE works to recruit, and provide training and support to, scholars from underserved populations who have at least their associate’s degree, and who are interested in teaching in early childhood settings. Through Project PIECE these scholars receive substantial financial assistance to take classes and complete a bachelor’s degree with a teaching autorization in early childhood, as well as an endorsement in early intervention/early childhood special education.
Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Cindy Ryan

Dr. Mickey Pardew

Dr. Patricia Blasco:
Teaching Research Institute

Duration: 2014 – 2019
Website: teachingresearchinstitute.org
DeafBlind Interpreting National Resource and Training Center (DBI) Grant
Within a framework of evidence-based practice, the DeafBlind Interpreting National Training and Resource Center (DBI) will enhance communication access for persons who are DeafBlind by increasing the number of interpreters able to effectively interpret utilizing tactile communication and other strategies.
Affiliated Faculty

CM Hall

Heather Holmes

Elayne Kuletz

Duration: 5 years (1/2017 – 1/2022)
Website: dbinterpreting.org
Sign Language/
The American Sign Language/English Interpreting major is designed to prepare graduates to enter the interpreting field as professionals who make significant contributions to the service delivery team. The program combines classes in language development, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, education and professional practices, as well as interpreting theory, technique, and the application of knowledge and skills to interpreting performance. The program has received grant funding from the Office of Special Education Programs to provide financial support to students who intend to work with deaf children in educational settings. The funding also provides opportunities for mentoring during the students’ first year of employment.
Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Elisa Maroney

Amanda Smith

Erin Trine

Duration: 6 years (10/2011-9/2017)

Website: wou.edu/interpreting
Rehabilitation Counseling with Deaf
and Hard of
The Rehabilitation Counseling with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Adults (RCDHHA) program is a 9-credit, month-long summer academic certificate program run on the campus of Western Oregon University. The goal of the program is to improve the employment and independent living status of deaf and hard-of-hearing people by increasing the number of rehabilitation professionals and their community partners nationwide who have the necessary knowledge and communication skills to serve this population. Participants take American Sign Language, an orientation to deafness, and vocational rehabilitation service provision. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the US Department of Education provides funding to defray the expense of participating in the program for participants in exchange for employment in a qualifying setting.
Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Denise Thew-Hackett

Kim Poage

Kara Gournaris

Brent Redpath

Lyra Behnke

Katie Pfaff

Carol Yetter

Mitch Turbin

Duration: 5 years (10/2014-9/2019)
Website: wou.edu/rcdhha
Teach Oregon
This grant is available to WOU education and pre-education majors. The grant amount is up to $4,000* annually and is not based on financial need. Students who receive a federal TEACH Grant must complete a service obligation by serving as a highly-qualified teacher in a designated high-need field at a low-income school for four years within eight years of completing a TEACH Grant eligible program.
Affiliated WOU Department

Office of Financial Aid

Duration: Ongoing
Website: wou.edu/student/finaid
Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (RMHC) Grant
The RMHC program offers three tracks: 1) Rehabilitation Counseling (RC) option: Graduates of this option provide counseling and consultative services to the general population of persons who have disabilities; 2) Rehabilitation Counseling for the Deaf (RCD) option: one of three deafness specialty programs in the United States. Graduates plan to seek employment as counselors or consultants for culturally Deaf people, deafened individuals, and persons who are hard-of-hearing; and 3) mental health counseling (MHC) track: graduates of this track are eligible to seek licensure as a licensed professional counselor nationwide in mental health settings. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the US Department of Education provides funding to support students in the program in exchange for employment in a qualifying setting.
Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Denise Thew-Hackett

Duration: 5 years (10/2014-2020)
Website: wou.edu/rehab