Welcome to DARS
Supporting Virginians’ efforts to secure independence and employment
The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, in collaboration with community partners, provides and advocates for resources and services to improve the employment, quality of life, security, and independence of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and their families.
DARS was created by merging the former Department of Rehabilitative Services and Department for the Aging in 2012 to help older Virginians and those with disabilities to maximize and secure their employment, independence and full inclusion into society and guide the Commonwealth in preparing for an aging population. In July, the adult services units from Virginia’s Department of Social Services will become part of DARS.
Latest NewsMore news from DARS
Gov. McDonnell's Executive Order No. 55 supporting Virginians with disabilities in the Commonwealth's workforce states, "It is the policy of the Commonwealth to encourage and enable persons with disabilities, including our wounded soldiers, to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of the Commonwealth and to engage in remunerative employment." As Gov. McDonnell aptly said in his inaugural State of the Commonwealth address, "The inherent dignity of a good day's work in a worthwhile pursuit strengthens the soul, supports the family, and reduces dependence on government." Read the executive order.
Since 1963, the U.S. Administration on Aging has designated May as the time for communities across America to honor and recognize its older citizens. This year’s 50th anniversary theme is appropriately “Unleash the Power of Age,” which emphasizes the important role older adults play in our communities by continuing to contribute their experience, knowledge, wisdom and skills. Gov. McDonnell’s proclamation recognizes that this May is the first Older Virginians Month for the new Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services which streamlines services, technologies and supports to enable older Virginians to continue to be an asset in strengthening our communities. Learn more about unleashing the power.
DARS congratulates the winners of the agency’s annual “Disability Employment Champions” awards. These statewide awards honor individuals and organizations whose outstanding business and employment practices encourage all Virginians to contribute their skills, ideas and talents to the workforce. Learn more about the 2012 honorees.
Bob Blancato, former chairman of the Commonwealth Council on Aging and a current council member, takes on the role of Virginia State President for AARP. At AARP, Blancato will lead more than 200 active volunteers representing more than 1 million AARP members in Virginia. Read more about the experience he brings to his new position.
The new chair of the National Governors Association, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has unveiled the initiative, “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities,” which aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities. The initiative will focus on the employment challenges that affect individuals with intellectual and other significant disabilities and the role that state governments and business can play in facilitating and advancing opportunities for these individuals to be gainfully employed in the competitive labor market.
The goal of this initiative is to bring together area leaders to focus on accessible and affordable transportation, housing, and wrap-around support services to help Virginians — of all ages and abilities — live integrated lives in their communities. Find out more.