Interagency Outreach Training Initiative



The description below provides a general overview of the Interagency Outreach Training Initiative in six sections: purpose, scope, recent results, operation, history, and funding process.


The Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI) is intended to improve the lives of people with disabilities by supporting training for consumers and agency personnel. It has three unique features:

1. The IOTI initiative focuses on areas where there are gaps in training already offered within the state. Thus, training can be directed to critical needs. For example, people may need help in learning to use newly-developed equipment or to understand changes in service delivery that result from policy shifts.

2. The IOTI promotes coordinated training across agencies. A Steering Council makes decisions about IOTI policies and procedures. Its members are consumers with disabilities and representatives of the state agencies that serve people with disabilities. The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University carries out the Council's decisions.

3. The IOTI supports innovative training. The Steering Council determines training needs and request proposals for training from public and non-profit agencies throughout the state. Only those proposals with the most merit are funded. Thus the training that results reflects the thinking of many, including representatives of people who need training and those who provide it.


Since 1995, the IOTI has funded more than 200 projects have been conducted by more than 50 public and private agencies and organizations some of which include:


Thirteen (13) separate projects were funded for the 2016-17 fiscal year, and  eight (8) projects are funded for the current 2017-18 fiscal year.


The IOTI was funded in 1995 by the Utah State Legislature. It was intended to coordinate training efforts across agencies in order to reduce costly duplication. Also, it was to address areas of current need. For example, one recognized training gap was in the education of paraprofessionals who provide supports to people with disabilities. Paraprofessionals serve in varied roles in many agencies: education, adult services, early intervention, and health care. Often paraprofessionals have not had preservice training to help them learn to serve people with disabilities. The IOTI offered a means to provide educational opportunities for paraprofessionals, thus helping them to provide improved services.

The IOTI continued to develop through the combined efforts of Center for Persons with Disabilities' former director Marvin Fifield, heads of state disability agencies, and leaders of consumer organizations. They worked over a several year period to secure adequate funds for this collaborative inservice effort and to develop the operating procedures described above.


To encourage quality in the way that the state's training needs are addressed, the Steering Council solicits competitive proposals for training from any non-profit agency or organization in Utah. The process, which begins early in the calendar year, is:


Sue Olsen, Chair, Center for Persons with Disabilities

Jennifer Smart, Office of Rehabilitation Services

Kris Fawson, Statewide Independent Living Council

Darren Hotton, Division of Aging and Adult Services

Eric Christensen, Utah Department of Health

Pam Bennett, Div of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Jennifer Salazar, Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

James Q. Jensen, TKJ

Tanya Semerad, Utah Office of Education

Michelle Murphey, Utah Parent Center

Audra Solovi, Utah Dept of Health

Lisa Gaeta, Division of Services to People with Disabilities

Trevor Buit


Annual report

Quarterly Reporting Form
Word Format(docx)

Yearly Reporting Form
Word Format(docx)