• VCU-RRTC-Transition

    RRTC on Employment of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities

    The VCU-RRTC on Employment of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities focuses on pre-employment training for younger adolescents, postsecondary and supported college education training for universities that are serving students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as internships for youth with emotional, learning and behavioral disorders.

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    A young man looking and smiling at the camera in a mail room.

    RRTC on Employment of Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    The VCU-RRTC on Employment of Persons with IDD will conduct multiphase studies that examine the critical variables that have the potential to improve the competitive integrated employment (CIE) outcomes for individuals with IDD and enhance rehabilitation professionals and other stakeholders' capacity to provide employment opportunities and supports.

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    A young lady with Down Syndrome working on a laptop.

    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.
RRTC In The News
18-year-old Project SEARCH Graduate with Autism Joins Staff at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
Latest news

Self-Employment Policy Paper

Understanding the Provision of Self-Employment For People with Disabilities in the United States

The Center on Self-Employment researched and summarized self-employment policies for the 50 States plus the District of Columbia. In total, 73 State VR Agencies were included in this research: 29 Combined VR Agencies, 22 General VR Agencies, and 22 Blind VR Agencies.

This paper represents the background and impetus behind the policy review, summarizes the findings, and offers initial considerations and recommendations for state VR policymakers. The report identified four key opportunities that VR agencies can pursue to increase equitable access to self-employment services.

Podcast: Universal Design for Learning for Autistic and Neurodivergent Children


Universal Design for Learning for Autistic and Neurodivergent Children: A Conversation with Emily Rubin and Dr. Lindee Morgan - This podcast episode is full of wonderful nuggets of wisdom and since we are about to kick it into high gear again in our school divisions, I thought I would share this with you all. I was particularly encouraged by the reminders about the "3 i's" of engaging our learners (investment, independence, and initiation) and the awesome SEE-KS model for measuring learner engagement!

Archive: Telecommuting

Dustin Clark

Watch the Center on Self Employment webcast on Telecommuting. This webcast is worth 1 CRC credit.

18-year-old Project SEARCH graduate with autism joins staff at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital

Young man working in hospital

Richmond Times-Dispatch (By Madyson Fitzgerald) - In the main lab on the first floor of Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Centerin Chesterfield County, machines beeped and whirred with activity as hospital staff worked late Tuesday morning. It was a busy scene. One staffer was preparing specimens to be transferred to Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Henrico County. Wearing a blue medical gown and mask with hair pulled into a ponytail was Xander Ferguson, 18, who was putting the tracking information on the vials. In the lab, he can usually be found filing slides, making COVID-19 kits, and scanning lab specimens.

A Practical Approach To Telework As A Reasonable Accommodation During The Pandemic

Woman viewing a computer monitor

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), telework has long been considered a form of reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the EEOC provides useful guidance about telework as an accommodation, the pandemic has created a multitude of new telework issues for employers to consider. For employers who are looking for guidance on how to address these issues, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers the following practical suggestions.

CIE: Outcomes for Individuals with I/DD


Customized Competitive integrated employment (CIE) has been established as the preferred goal for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) seeking employment. When compared to employment in segregated settings, CIE has shown more positive impacts on the lives of individuals. A recent study that examined the impact of competitive integrated employment on economic, psychological, and physical health outcomes for individuals with I/DD revealed some key findings.

The impact of competitive integrated employment

Plain Language Summary

Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) has been well established in research and policy as the preferred outcome for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the United States. However, without greater documentation and accurate assessment of the impact of CIE to improve the lives of individuals with IDD, we risk greatly undervaluing this key life experience. Subsequently, this miscalculates the public policy related to CIE by not more fully investigating in its promotion.

Journal Article

Start on success cover page

Start on success: A school and business collaboration model offering work-based learning for students with disabilities - Students connect what they learn in high school to the world of work. The opportunity to work provides high school students a valuable learning experience. They find a purpose for coming to school. For students with disabilities (SWD), a college and career readiness gap exists.