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Sunday, June 13, 2021

UF College of Education gets $1.5m grant to develop learning program for parents of children with disabilities

Researchers from UF’s College of Education and two other universities received a $1.5 million grant to develop a learning program to help parents and caregivers of children with disabilities.

This project was one of 13 funded out of more than 900 applications and could benefit tens of thousands of America’s children, according to a news release.

The grant from the federal Institute of Education Services is used to test a new approach called EPIC, which will develop a curriculum that involves coaching caregivers to incorporate responsive learning experiences into everyday activities.

One of the co-principal investigators, Patricia Snyder, a professor in UF’s College of Education, said learning opportunities are present in daily routines such as counting Cheerios at mealtime.

The EPIC team includes Snyder and two other professors from Florida State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The three-year study started in June at each university site, but undergraduate students can get involved with the research during the final year of the study.

“UF has a great deal of expertise in this area. This lets us highlight some of the work we’ve done,” Snyder said. “We’re excited about this project.”

Emily Kaidy, an 18-year-old UF education freshman, said the study sounds like a beneficial program for the education department.

“It’s important for teachers and parents to learn how to work with (children with disabilities) so in the future they can specialize with children in those classes,” Kaidy said.

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