• VCU-RRTC

    Business Connections in the News

    Kyle and Trey work for Dominion Energy as HR process assistants. After one year on the job, they share their story.

    "I can and I will," has been Trey"s mantra throughout his life. In a CBS interview, he explains how he applies this to his work with Dominion.

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    Side by side portraits of Kyle and Trey
  • VCU-RRTC-EP

    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.
  • VCU-DRRP

    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-ACE

    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.
  • VCU-CTI

    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.
  • WIPA-NTDC

    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.
Spotlight
VCU receives $8.8M to support employment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities - Dr. Paul Wehman has received two research awards to coordinate studies that will focus on how to best provide training and employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Latest news

VCU program, now in its 10th year, helps students with disabilities take classes and land a job

Robert Doss a student in VCU's ACE-IT in College program.

In a cluttered brick building off Currie Street in Richmond, Robert Doss gets to work. His employer, Cabinetry and Construction Inc., moved to the new building near Virginia Union University over the summer and needed someone to organize the space. Enter Robert, a Richmond native with autism.

VCU receives $8.8M

VCU receives $8.8M to support employment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities - A Virginia Commonwealth University professor has received two major research awards totaling $8.8 million to coordinate a dozen studies across four universities that will focus on how to best provide training and employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Fact Sheet

DRRP Fact Sheet

Customized Employment Topics: Interviewing - Conducting interviews is usually a part of providing employment services to individuals with disabilities. Typically, there is an intake interview during which people seeking services are asked about their goals for employment and other relevant information. However, interviewing should not be used to “evaluate” the job seeker with disabilities, which is a very important distinction when using interviewing as part of customized employment services. Interviewing in the context of customized employment is a way to learn about a person’s life story and experiences. What meaning do these experiences have for the person and how may they impact employment?

Randy's Case Study

Randy

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project on Customized Employment - Randy received a high school diploma in 2018 and shortly afterward began receiving customized employment services. During his final year in high school, he tutored several young children at an agency that offers tutoring services in reading, math, and science to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Randy provided tutoring sessions for approximately six hours a week and helped with various tasks in the agency’s thrift store. The thrift store job duties included handling the cash register, organizing products, and cleaning around the store. In addition to tutoring, Randy also had experience at a community organization helping youth with Autism in recreational activities. He had volunteered for several summers as a summer camp counselor.

Project Achieve Services to Women Vets with TBI & SCI in Postsecondary Education

Project Achieve - Women veterans represent 14% of Virginia’s veteran population, leading the nation with the highest percentage of women veterans. This number is expected to increase over the next 20 years. Despite their presence in Virginia, little is known about the postsecondary support needs unique to women student veterans, particularly those with disabilities such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). To fill this gap, CTI is implementing a demonstration project, Project Achieve, to provide specialized services to women veterans with TBI and SCI in postsecondary education.

CTI Grant Aims to Improve Transfer Student Success

Left: CTI's Christine Groah & Elizabeth Getzel

The VCU Center on Transition Innovations (CTI), part of the VCU School of Education’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, has received a $360,000 ECMC Foundation grant to study the mental health challenges and needs of community college students. “This study is a great opportunity for VCU, especially considering its commitment to transfer student success,” said Elizabeth E. Getzel, CTI director and Principal investigator in the study. “This commitment is evidenced by the establishment of the VCU Transfer Center and the development of transfer maps with four community colleges.”

Business Connections Spotlight

Crystal Hence and Jalen

Crystal Hence has all the skills a good job coach should have. She is the sole job coach for Project SEARCH at St. Francis Medical Center, where she works with an average of six students at a time. She is persistent in her job leads and not shy about approaching employers.

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.