The Vocational Rehabilitation – Training, Education, and Development (VR-TED) project began December 1, 2014. This project, which is operated through the Center on Rehabilitation Synergy, is a five year, 1.9 million dollar contract with the New York State Education Department/Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR). Through this contract, VR-TED staff will provide extensive continuing education training and technical assistance to nearly 1,000 New York State senior rehabilitation counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and rehabilitation staff members.
This collaborative initiative is a substantial effort to address the priorities and demands of the bipartisan federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014.
The fundamental goal of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is to help qualified individuals with disabilities become a larger part of the integrated U.S. job market and global economy. A comprehensive overview of the WIOA can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/WIOA/Docs/WIOA-Factsheet.pdf
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment among people without a disability in 2013 was 64%, but employment among persons with disabilities the same year was 17.6%.
The VR-TED project, through the provision of continuing education training and technical assistance, will advance the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities along several themes. First, the VR-TED project will develop and deliver a “Leadership Academy” for senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and supervisors that will focus on supervising and coordinating best practices in school-to-work transition, job training, reasonable accommodations, and job placement. Second, the VR-TED project will initiate an on-going system of needs assessments to deal with diverse disability constituencies in a rapidly changing job market. Third, the VR-TED project will do extensive training in the substance and implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Lastly, specific training will be provided in rehabilitation and job placement best practices for vocational rehabilitation consumers with traumatic brain injuries, learning disabilities/differences, ADHD, multiple sclerosis, mental health challenges, autism, and substance abuse. The VR-TED project will also provide rehabilitation and job placement best practices training in working with LGBT consumers and veterans.
For further information about this project, please contact:
David Burganowski , Ph.D., CRC
Graduate School of Education
Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology
Center on Rehabilitation Synergy (CRS)
Vocational Rehabilitation – Training, Education, and Development (VR-TED)