September 25, 2023
Chad A. Ludwig, MSW, ADAC, OHCI, CDI
Research Resources Center with the Deaf communities (RRCD)/Western Oregon University Announces Transition of Oregon DeafBlind Project Grant to Columbia Regional Inclusive Services
Monmouth, Oregon — The Oregon DeafBlind Project (ODBP), which has been housed at Western Oregon University (WOU) for over 15 years, has made significant strides in providing crucial resources, support, and services to children who are DeafBlind and their families across the state of Oregon. The project has been instrumental in enhancing accessibility, education, and empowerment for this community.
However, Western Oregon University has made the difficult decision not to pursue the next grant cycle. While the ODBP has been successful it’s time at WOU, the project has also been plagued staffing difficulties and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic among other challenges. Following WOU’s decision not to apply for the next grant cycle, the federal Department of Education has awarded Columbia Regional Inclusive Services (CRIS) the grant for the next 5 year cycle.
Columbia Regional Inclusive Services is well-positioned to take on this responsibility and build upon the project’s achievements.
This transition reflects RRCD’s commitment to the long-term success of the Oregon DeafBlind Project and the continued well-being of the individuals it serves. RRCD will work closely with Columbia Regional Inclusive Services to facilitate a seamless handover of responsibilities, ensuring that all ongoing projects and services continue without interruption.
Chad A. Ludwig, Center Director at RRCD/Western Oregon University, expressed their confidence in Columbia Regional Inclusive Services, stating, “We are confident that Columbia Regional Inclusive Services will carry forward the mission of the Oregon DeafBlind Project with dedication and innovation. Their expertise and commitment to inclusive services align perfectly with the project’s goals.”
Columbia Regional Inclusive Services is eager to take on this new responsibility and build upon the foundation established by RRCD. Dr. Lisa McConachie, Senior Director at Columbia Regional Inclusive Services, stated, “Through the Oregon DeafBlind Project, we are committed to serving the needs of DeafBlind students, their families, and educators who serve them. We look forward to providing leadership in the State to highlight and support the unique needs of the community.”
The transition of the Oregon DeafBlind Project to Columbia Regional Inclusive Services will officially take effect on October 1, 2023. RRCD/Western Oregon University will provide all necessary support to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities and a successful transition.
We wanted to offer additional resources for this transition period and beyond. Follow the ODBP Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/oregondb for project related updates and to connect with one another. Additionally, the following organizations and links may be supportive:
PILEA Play: pileaplay.com/
For further information and inquiries, please contact Scott Walls at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 503.916.5570 ext 78242.
About the Research & Resource Center with Deaf communities
The RRCD is in WOU’s College of Education and has been supporting students in fields like graduate studies in American Sign Language/English interpreting, Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, DeafBlind Interpreting & Training, and the Oregon Deafblind Project for more than 45 years. For more information about the RRCD, please visit www.wou.edu/rrcd/
About Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 and located in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving approximately 4,800 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with nearly 75 percent of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.
About Columbia Regional Inclusive Services
Columbia Regional Inclusive Services (CRIS) provides a continuum of educational services. These services include consultation to parents, early intervention programs and school age teams, support through itinerant teaching, physical therapy, assistive technology, augmentative communication and classrooms for the deaf and hard of hearing.
CRIS hires trained, certified staff with current experience and knowledge of trends, research and technology in each disability area to provide the high-level, specialized educational services that our students need. For more information about the CRIS, please visit www.crisoregon.org