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Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)

In the text box below, describe the steps the applicant proposes to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, its Federally-assisted program for students, teachers, and other program beneficiaries with special needs provide the information to meet the requirements of Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), consistent with the following instructions posted at https://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/gepa427.doc.

Current Narrative:

All applicants are required to attach a description of the steps the applicant organization proposes to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, its federally assisted program. Failure to address the GEPA consideration results in the non-consideration of the submitted application.

Programs address the special needs of students, teachers and other program beneficiaries to overcome barriers to programming and participation, including those based on gender, race, color, national origin, disability, and age. Through monitoring, the state office ensures that local providers give equal access to, and equitable participation in, all such projects.

Additionally, all WIOA Section 223 State Leaderships funds utilized for professional development will include steps to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, the federal grant program by local adult education personnel, including administrators, teachers, aides, academic and career coaches, and other staff who participate.  

The state adult education office continually identifies improvement strategies and the need for targeted professional development offerings among instructional staff at the local level. Indiana utilizes State Leadership funds to formulate a local network of teachers to determine effective strategies for engaging them in improvement efforts. This activity continues to address barriers to equitable participation for students based on academic achievement to satisfy the GEPA requirement.

As a state office, the goal in Indiana is to prevent the elimination or underutilization in the workforce of members of any group on the basis of race or color, religion, nationality, age, gender or disability. Each state employee has the right to work in a professional atmosphere which promotes equal opportunities regardless of race, sex, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The state does not tolerate, condone or allow any harassment or discrimination whether verbal, physical or environmental.

The state engages in an interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations wherever necessary for all employees or applicants with a known disability. Reasonable accommodations include, but is not limited to:

· Making existing facilities readily accessible and usable;

· Restructuring of a job or service, or of the way in which aid, benefits, services, or training is/are provided;

· Modified work schedules or training schedules;

· Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices;

· Appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials, or policies; and

· Provision of readers or interpreters.

The state adult education office also ensures equitable access to, and participation in, all staff projects and activities conducted with federal and state adult education funds.

As an example, the state office previously identified a need for cultural competency specifically in regard to the social, emotional, and academic success of employees and students. Indiana will continually utilize State Leadership funds to provide professional development opportunities, in part, for program staff to address culturally responsive practices to satisfy the GEPA requirement.