A mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve common goals. The relationship includes a commitment to: a definition of mutual relationships and goals; a jointly developed structure and shared responsibility; mutual authority and accountability; and sharing of resources and rewards (Mattesich & Monsey, 1992). Collaboration involves formal, sustained commitment among partners to accomplish a shared, clearly defined mission (Kerka, 1997). Collaborative efforts can overcome service fragmentation and interrelated problems resulting in improved services to individuals with disabilities (Melaville & Blank, 1993).

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