The goal of the Technical Assistance on Native American Culture project is to increase the knowledge and understanding of Native American Culture and social and economic conditions of Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs) in order to improve their ability/capacity to provide work incentive planning and assistance services, and to conduct outreach effectively with Native American beneficiaries with disabilities.
To accomplish this goal, there are three broad objectives.
Develop and provide guidance on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian culture, customs, and related subject matter that Work Incentive Planning Assistance program personnel may need to communicate with or on behalf of Native American SSA beneficiaries with disabilities.
Develop and provide guidance on effective outreach techniques specifically for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian SSA beneficiaries with disabilities.
Provide liaison services between WIPA program projects and Native American communities to facilitate effective interaction by obtaining information from Indian Country about how they can be best served.
Typical Issues Addressed
Training and materials have been developed and disseminated based on issues identified in needs assessments conducted among Community Work Incentive Coordinators. Typical issues identified included:
- Awareness of Native American cultures, customs, protocol, tribal differences, generational issues, and language barriers, in order to improve cross-cultural communication.
- Native American sovereignty and how sovereignty affects the services available to Native American SSA beneficiaries with disabilities.
- The impact of historical mistrust among Alaska Natives, American Indians, and Native Hawaiians on outreach activities of Work Incentive Planning Assistance programs.
- Program and services available in Native American communities to assist both traditional and non-traditional Alaska Natives, American Indians, and Native Hawaiians (i.e. non-reservation and urban populations) and how to incorporate them into WIPA program outreach services.
Training and information continue to be disseminated in the following ways:
- Issues Briefs
- Teleconferences and supporting materials for teleconferences
- Curriculum development based on previous training materials, conferences, and teleconferences
- Regularly distributed emails to a listserv composed of WIPA personnel
- Resources regularly updated on a website
- Technical assistance provided by email or phone in response to requests to your Regional Liaison.
- Alternative formats for all materials available upon request