Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on the Employment of People with Physical Disabilities

    The RRTC-PD conducts advanced research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities specifically to improve the employment outcomes of individuals with physical disabilities. Researchers examine several clinical interventions and their effect on employment outcomes.

    View Project

    Woman in wheelchair in an office.

    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.

    View Project

    Woman saying 'OK' in sign language.

    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.

    View Project

    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.

    View Project

    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.

    View Project

    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.

    View Project

    Two people looking at an iPad.
State of the Science Conference Proceedings:
Read the Papers from the State of the Science Conference on the Employment of People with Physical Disabilities
Latest news

Video - Building More Than Just Muscle

Michael Whitten

Fitness Job Helps Michael Whitten Build Confidence
From bathing and dressing to eating a meal, Michael Whitten needs a helping hand in almost aspect of his life. Michael, who weighed just two pounds and two ounces when he was born premature December 4, 1994, lives with Cerebral Palsy. In the 23 years since his birth, Michael has endured nearly 40 surgeries and countless stares in public from young and old, his mom Brenda said.

Upcoming Webcast - May 15

Webcast logo

Experiences of Veterans with Amputation: An Exploration of Work and Life Post-Injury- This webinar will highlight mixed-method data collected from Veterans who have experienced an amputation. The results of a literature review, questionnaire, as well as qualitative interviews will be shared. Topics addressed include: employment experiences (challenges and facilitators), individual characteristics of respondents, services/supports, resilience and aspirational features of the sample. Implications and recommendations for promising practices/features and recommended research will be discussed. This research was sponsored by the RRTC on Employment of Physical Disabilities.

Center on Transition Spotlight

The Community Independence Instruction (CII) program at Cedar Lane Elementary School

Occupational therapy and elementary-age children aren’t always associated with transition. That didn’t deter Deborah Schwind, an occupational therapist in Loudoun County, from starting the Community Independence Instruction (CII) program at Cedar Lane Elementary School. Third to fifth grade students participate in CII building job skills, developing career interests, and embedding academic knowledge through hands-on learning opportunities throughout the school building.

Upcoming Webcast - May 23

Webcast logo

Making Room for Employment Best Practices: Lessons Learned From Agencies- This webinar focuses on practical wisdom and guidelines that demystify the agency process of incorporating Employment Best Practices. The knowledge is based on work with agencies during the previous 5 years who have learned by “doing" under the tutelage of subject matter experts. It explores the fundamentals of the inner workings that come from taking action. Additionally, specific skills, attitudes and choices are highlighted that were important to the success of the specific organizations' process.

Article: State of the Science Conference

VCU letters outside dining hall from above

The most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016 reveal that 17.9% of people with disabilities had employment, while 65.3% of individuals without a disability were employed. The unemployment rate in 2016 for individuals with disabilities was 10.5%, compared to 4.6% for those without a disability (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). However, employment rates for individuals with physical disabilities tend to be lower than those of other people with disabilities.

How To Video: Motivating the Individual with ASD

Teacher with children sitting at a table

Motivation is a billion dollar a year industry. Motivation to go to the gym. Motivation to eat healthy. Motivation to improve work performance. We ALL need a little extra help in the motivation department. We know that there are really two kinds of motivation: Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Online Course: Get Ready for College

Students working on their laptops

"Get Ready for College: A Resource for Teens with Disabilities" is a free series of online lessons, each focusing on a different aspect in the college preparation, selection, and disability services process.