Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employer Practices for Individuals with Disabilities

    The RRTC-EP investigates the most successful business practices which companies utilize to hire and retain workers with disabilities. The project includes four studies, the largest takes place in partnership with Bon Secours Virginia Health System, a long term leader in diversity and hiring of persons with disabilities.

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    Woman in wheelchair in an office.

    Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project on Customized Employment

    The VCU-DRRP helps young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, to achieve competitive employment based on the individual's choices, interests and skills. The project's overall objective is to test the effectiveness of customized employment as an intervention to facilitate employment for youth with disabilities.

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    Two people looking at an iPad.

    VCU Autism Center for Excellence

    VCU-ACE is a university-based technical assistance, professional development, and educational research center for Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VCU-ACE improves services and supports for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by promoting the implementation of research-based practices in schools and the community through training, technical assistance, research, and collaboration.

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    Two people looking at an iPad.

    Center on Transition Innovations

    The Center on Transition Innovations (CTI) at Virginia Commonwealth University is a centralized statewide portal for information, resources, demonstration, and research for educators and other stakeholders in the transition of youth with disabilities. CTI provides evidence-based resources and information along with emerging practices in the field. The results of research studies and demonstration projects conducted here in Virginia help us shape the ongoing work of CTI.

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    Two people looking at an iPad.

    Work Incentives Planning & Assistance National Training and Data Center

    The Virginia Commonwealth University National Training and Data Center (NTDC) provides comprehensive training and technical assistance to Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects, the Ticket to Work Help Line, and community partners to ensure accurate and timely support for beneficiaries on the road to employment and financial independence.

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    Two people looking at an iPad.
Families, advocates and providers hold dialogue on autism at Richmond Time Dispatch's Public Square - Dr. Paul Wehman, Director of VCU's Autism Center for Excellence and of the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, served as a panelist at the forum.
Latest news

Families, advocates and providers hold dialogue on autism at RTD's Public Square

Dr. Wehman speaking at a Public Square forum

Addressing questions about autism and people who are diagnosed with the developmental disorder, attendees of the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s 76th Public Square on Wednesday said there needs to be more social inclusion, robust advocacy and planning for the future. Nearly 150 people attended the forum at the newspaper’s downtown offices, including experts, people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, their families, doctors, and direct service providers.

Project SEARCH Intern Makes the Most of Opportunity with Bon Secours

Project SEARCH Intern with Bon Secours

Jalen completed his first internship at Project SEARCH with the Materials Management department. During his time with the department, Jalen quickly learned the job tasks and began asking his mentor for additional tasks. The management shared how impressed they were with Jalen's work performance and encouraged him to apply for a materials management tech position at the completion of his internship. Jalen's dream job was to work in a hospital and feels that he's been given the chance of a lifetime.

Article Summary

Young man on a bus

Partners in Employment: Building Strong Coalitions to Facilitate Systems Change for Youth and Young Adults - In 2014, the employment rate for young adults with cognitive disabilities was 20% for ages 16-11 and 41% for ages 22-30. These numbers are almost half the employment rate of young adults without disabilities.

Betsy's Case Study


Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project on Customized Employment - Informational interviews may help the job seeker and the employment specialist learn more about how the person’s interests and skills may meet the needs of business. This case study describes how informational interviews were used during discovery for “Betsy”.

Online Course: Supported Employment

Laptop with Online Courses on the Screen

Supported Employment Online Course ACRE Certified - July 1 - Sept 23, 2019 This course provides an extensive overview of supported employment and how to facilitate competitive jobs for individuals with significant disabilities. Topics include: federal policy; customer profile; job development; working with employers; job-site strategies; support plans; and alternative funding.

Business Connections Spotlight

Kristen Hamilton and Austin Miller

This month the VCU RRTC is spotlighting two outstanding Employment Specialists, Kristen Hamilton and Austin Miller for their team work in developing an organizational partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe.

Upcoming Webcast - April 17

Webcast logo

Instructional Strategies for Acquisition and Maintenance of Customized Job Tasks - Employment specialists should understand and be proficient at developing specific workplace supports to ensure a customized employee completes negotiated job tasks. This webcast will provide a review of validated instructional strategies that can be used to develop the workplace supports necessary for job task completion. Specifically, the webcast will review how to develop a task analysis and use validated instructional strategies that promote the acquisition and maintenance of negotiated job tasks.

RRTC EP - Employment Services

Project Search student working in a hospital

Business Connections at VCU is a supported employment service provider for individuals in the Metro Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Warsaw areas, assisting individuals with disabilities with finding employment and providing ongoing support to clients who obtain employment. Established in 1983, the Virginia Commonwealth University RRTC provides resources for professionals, individuals with disabilities, and their representatives. Our team of nationally and internationally renowned researchers is committed to developing and advancing evidence-based practices to increase the hiring and retention for individuals with disabilities.