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Temple University, Institute on Disabilities

1/8/2019 |

The National Theater in London recently launched a new technology that allows hearing impaired audience members to access captioning through smart glasses that harness augmented reality to project captions within the user’s line of vision. Working with the local office of the National Theater’s technology partner, Accenture, the Temple University Institute on Disabilities will adapt the technology for use by regional theaters, who might not otherwise have the resources to develop such a tool.  This approach overcomes existing cost and staffing barriers to providing closed captioning at every performance, allowing more equitable access for hearing impaired audiences. The Institute will  extend the technology to include American Sign Language and Spanish language captioning.

Thomas Jefferson University

9/26/2018 |

Effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) remains out of reach for many people who seek recovery assistance, particularly for people living in poverty. Two organizations on the front lines of the local crisis—Thomas Jefferson University and Project HOME—teamed up to pilot a new model of care. Led by Dr. Lara Weinstein, the integrated model combines primary care, behavioral health services and medication treatment, offered in a Federally Qualified Health Center setting. Integrating treatment of OUD into primary care represents a paradigm shift: from isolated treatment facilities to re-positioning services holistically along a lifelong wellness continuum. By combining these particular services, providing them in a community-based setting and offering them to groups of people, Jefferson believes they are creating a game-changing vehicle to support patients in need of effective, affordable and rapid treatment. With outreach support from Prevention Point Philadelphia and Pathways to Housing PA, the partners will run the program and conduct a corresponding evaluation of both its efficacy and cost savings to date. Jefferson will then disseminate lessons-learned through conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and media outreach.

Mural Arts Advocates

9/26/2018 |

Day wage programs are being tested in cities around the country as a means to reduce street homelessness, increase connections to services and housing, and encourage re-entry into the workforce. Unlike traditional workforce development programs that seek to move participants into structured work environments, day wage programs recognize that participants first need to build a connection to basic services—in time, they will hopefully move towards readiness for employment.  Together with Mental Health Partnerships (MHP), Mural Arts will introduce a day wage program in Philadelphia which will tap into Mural Arts’ experience providing training to marginalized populations. Prior to launching the program, a research and design phase will result in a white paper outlining policy, practice and evaluation recommendations. The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services, Commerce Department and Office of Workforce Development as well as representatives of civic, behavioral health, workforce development and college/university partners will be consulted throughout the project. Following the design process, there will be two pilots of the program to allow for testing and learning.

AIM Academy

9/26/2018 |

AIM Academy has developed a research-based methodology that has proven to be successful in helping children with learning challenges succeed.  Through their AIM Institute for Learning & Research, AIM has taken this approach and piloted it in the School District of Philadelphia to address struggling readers from low socioeconomic backgrounds who have a cognitive profile that is similar to children with learning differences.  Given the limited reach of in-person trainings, AIM is developing AIM Pathways, a robust online platform that will decouple the opportunity to learn AIM’s approach from in-person courses allowing for more teachers to engage with this pedagogy. Because AIM Pathways is an online resource that is available anytime, anywhere, teachers will be able to continue to engage with the content and use its case study based curriculum in real time when identifying learning barriers in the classroom.  AIM’s relationship with the Haskins Lab at Yale University’s Global Language and Literacy Innovation Hub provides a strong partner for designing the platform and dissemination model.  The platform’s alignment with the goals of the national Grade Level Reading campaign provides opportunities for nationwide dissemination.

Prosecutor Impact

8/2/2018 |

Adam Foss’s experience as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) in Boston convinced him that prosecutors are the most influential actors in the criminal justice system. One ADA’s discretion and decisions can make the difference between a young person being charged with multiple felonies and beginning their adulthood in prison, or being diverted from the system without a criminal record and giving them second chance. By providing ADAs with the training and resources to approach their jobs with compassion, knowledge and creativity, he believes he can make a substantial impact on thousands, if not millions, of lives. Foss founded Prosecutor Impact in 2016 and began to seek partners who would be willing to test a radical new way to prepare ADAs for work. PI’s model is very new, but grounded in experience and research and tested on a small scale in other cities. This proposal would support an unprecedented partnership in Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s office that will allow them to credibly test their eight-week program for incoming prosecutors.

Kencrest Centers

8/2/2018 |

There are 14,000 people with autism or intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) waiting for services in Pennsylvania due to lack of funding or staff. In AVAIL technology, a start-up based in Ireland, KenCrest sees a new way of providing services, empowering their clients, measuring outcomes and reducing costs. Through AVAIL’s simple-by-design mobile application, KenCrest’s staff will help clients set up goals, record personalized tutorials and then monitor the client’s independent progress. From setting the table for dinner to assembling a product at a work site, AVAIL helps clients accomplish activities that they might otherwise depend on others to help them complete. KenCrest will partner with another human services, JEVS, to pilot this new technology, which they believe has the potential to provide a more person-centered and person-driven approach to client care—and one that could be adopted by others in the field.

CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia

8/2/2018 |

CultureWorks’ management commons approach—which is grounded in fiscal sponsorship—is a potential re-definition of capacity building: one in which they start to look at how to encourage capacity growth and scale for the field as a whole through local management commons, rather than the growth and scale of individual cultural organizations. CultureWorks will create a cohort commons model to address the needs of midsize organizations. They will serve as the partner—or “Copilot”—to organizations by providing back office services while the organizations retain all of the key elements of independence when it comes to mission, programs, constituent relationships and governance. In addition, CoPilot participants become part of a cohort with access to learning and networking opportunities with their peers and the chance to pursue solutions to common problems that they would normally struggle to tackle individually. This new model for management of midsize cultural organizations will be deployed simultaneously in two newly established CultureWorks’ programs in other cities, allowing for testing and growth across markets.


8/2/2018 |

There is a growing interest in microcredentialing through online learning. It has the potential to provide educational opportunities for those who need more flexibility; however, retention for online learners is low. HospitalityTogether (HT) brings together nontraditional online learning through MIT’s edX with the Checkpoints student program to create opportunities for youth who choose to explore pathways other than college due to financial and personal barriers. The curriculum will be developed by a Credentialing Committee that includes Philadelphia’s top chefs and restaurateurs, who have the credibility to define new signals and standards for the hospitality marketplace. HT will expose participants to career pathways in the hospitality industry and provide access and encouragement to ongoing learning in support of career advancement. Ultimately HT envisions their program eventually serving as a model for the national restaurant industry.

Pennsylvania Environmental Council

4/18/2018 |

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, in partnership with Swim Pony, will develop ten unique sound walks to draw new and diverse audiences to locations they might not otherwise visit.  Each selected path will feature writing from a local artist along with underscored music and sound design, all tailored to sync to the movement of an audience member as they travel along a trail. Opening a door to a new experience through something familiar—like a storyteller or poet they already know—could lead to increased and, perhaps, repeat engagement.   By thinking creatively about how the arts and emerging technologies can draw audiences into nontraditional spaces, this unusual partnership could lay the groundwork for parks elsewhere to encourage visitation by constituencies they currently have a hard time reaching.


4/18/2018 |

Rapid Rehousing for Reunification is a three-year pilot that will adapt the rapid rehousing model to reunify families involved with the child welfare system swiftly and successfully. Many cities face delays in reunifying families after foster care due to housing-related barriers, including housing quality and safety. However, this is the first time that rapid rehousing has been attempted in a child welfare setting. If successful, this model would offer a systemic, cost-effective solution to reduce the impact of substandard housing on families involved in the child welfare system. The team, led by Stoneleigh Fellow and former Deputy Health Commissioner Nan Feyler, will design, implement and evaluate the model in partnership with CHOP PolicyLab. The program design and lessons-learned will be disseminated locally and nationally.

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