Petersburg business development manager honored with leadership recognition award Virginia's State Rehabilitation Council has named Beth Groff, business development manager and counselor manager for DARS in its Petersburg office, the 2016 recipient of its annual Employee Leadership Roy J. Ward Recognition Award. The award is presented by the council to employees of DARS for outstanding service in the vocational rehabilitation field and disability community. Learn more about her work.
Tips to help Medicare beneficiaries get ready for open enrollment Medicare beneficiaries preparing for open enrollment next month may want to consider their current health needs and the many preventive services covered by Medicare. The Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program state director has these tips for older Virginians looking to prepare for the enrollment period, Oct. 15 – Dec. 7.
DARS names new director for Virginia's Division for the Aging Marcia DuBois will lead Virginia’s Division for the Aging and its programs as its new director, Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services Commissioner Jim Rothrock announced.
Three Virginia Area Agencies on Aging recognized nationally Three of Virginia’s aging programs won honors from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging for developing initiatives to help older Americans remain independent in their homes and communities. Read more about the programs.
Virginia awarded $900,000 to expand wellness program Gov. McAuliffe today announced Virginia’s wellness program that helps older Virginians with chronic diseases has won a $900,000 grant to expand across the Commonwealth and include individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Read about the program.
Project SEARCH participants celebrate completion of career program About 130 high school students in Virginia with developmental and intellectual disabilities participated in internships this school year to gain valuable work experience and skills as part of the innovative Project SEARCH program. Learn more about this career program that provides hands-on job training during the senior year.
WWRC students demonstrate manufacturing skills for industry leaders Youth with disabilities participating in a new job skills academy will demonstrate to Virginia manufacturing leaders a solar-powered water filtration unit they built at Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center. Learn more about the academy’s role in WWRC’s new emphasis on certification.
Commonwealth Council on Aging honors Senior Connections’ chronic disease self-management program Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging, won the top 2016 “Best Practices” award from the Commonwealth Council on Aging for a wellness program that helps state corrections offenders learn to manage their chronic diseases and improve their well-being. Learn more about this program and other honorees.
Governor’s Conference on Aging gathers experts to discuss enhancing lives of older Virginians The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services will convene in Richmond May 2-3 the first Governor’s Conference on Aging in 13 years to identify ways to enhance the health and well-being of Virginians as they age. Learn more about this historic conference.
Gov. McAuliffe to honor first graduates of collaborative WWRC job training program with CVS Health Gov. Terry McAuliffe will visit Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center on April 11 and recognize the first graduates of an innovative job training program developed in collaboration with CVS Health. Learn more about the training program.
Gov. McAuliffe announces nearly $3 million in grants to expand No Wrong Door Program Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia has been awarded nearly $3 million in federal funding to help ease difficulties older adults and people with disabilities may face when they seek support services from state agencies, health care systems and community organizations. Read more about the No Wrong Door initiative.
DARS receives federal grant to enhance coordinated dementia treatment A nearly $1 million federal grant to the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services will launch a pilot project to establish a coordinated care system for persons with dementia and their caregivers. Learn more about the grant.
Gov. McAuliffe to speak at independent living conference Governor Terry McAuliffe will speak Oct. 8 at a training conference for disability advocates. Following his remarks to the conference at the Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa/Short Pump, he will visit the onsite ADA Legacy Tour bus, which raises awareness about the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and educates future generations of advocates. Read more about the conference.
Tips to help Medicare beneficiaries get ready for open enrollment As Medicare marks its 50th anniversary, it’s time for beneficiaries to start thinking about their health care needs and preparing for open enrollment this fall. The enrollment period runs Oct. 15 – Dec. 7.
Biennial brain injury conference honored Deeds, Galanti Virginia Sen. Creigh Deeds and Paul Galanti, former commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, were recognized for their commitment to helping people with brain injuries and their families at the biennial “Brain Injury Report Out Day” meeting. The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the Virginia Brain Injury Council on July 24 honored the two Virginians, whose work serves to improve the lives of individuals with acquired brain injuries. Learn more about the honorees.
Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center ushers in new name July 1 Elizabeth Creamer, advisor for workforce development to Virginias Secretary of Commerce and Trade, will speak at the July 1 ceremony celebrating the new name for the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center. Read more about the new name.
Project SEARCH students celebrate new job skills Nearly 95 high school students in Virginia with developmental and intellectual disabilities participated this school year in the innovative Project SEARCH career program to gain valuable work experience and skills. Read more about Project SEARCH and the students' accomplishments.
Commonwealth Council on Aging honors Senior Connections' 'Faith to Fate' initiative Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging, won the top 2015 "Best Practices" award from the Commonwealth Council on Aging for its advance care planning initiative in the Richmond region. Learn more about this program and other honorees.
Wellness program aims to help Virginia offenders improve health A wellness program initially targeted to older Virginians is helping offenders at five Virginia correctional facilities learn to manage their chronic diseases and improve their well-being. Read more about the program
Governor recognizes Virginia's vocational rehabilitation program success In his "Year One: The New Virginia Economy" report, Gov. McAuliffe drew attention to the program success of 2014 brought about by DARS’ vocational rehabilitation programs, the agency’s counselors and our consumers for their efforts in participating in the Commonwealth’s workforce. Read the Governor’s comments about the VR program and the entire report
DARS offers temporary voucher program for caregiver respite Virginia families who care for a loved one with disabilities or chronic conditions can apply for up to $400 reimbursement for respite care under a limited voucher program from the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. Learn how to qualify and apply.
Holidays can be a time for families to spot elder fraud Adult children who suspect their parents may be financially exploited by a relative, caregiver or friend can often spot signs when family members gather during the year-end holidays. Learn more about the problem and what can be done to prevent it.
Commonwealth partners to research return on investment of vocational rehabilitation programs Gov. McAuliffe today announced a nearly $2.5 million federal grant to the University of Richmond and its partners, including the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and the University of Virginia Department of Economics, to assess the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities. Read the Governor's news release.
Tips to help Medicare beneficiaries make decisions during open enrollment Its time for Medicare beneficiaries to think about their health care needs and choose the best plan for them. The Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program offers these tips for older Virginians to consider during Medicares enrollment period, Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Learn more about what to consider and where you can find help.
Amazon Fulfillment Center among state employers honored for championing disability employment The Amazon Fulfillment Center in Chesterfield County, which has hired more than 40 clients of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, was among the Virginia employers honored in October for outstanding commitment to hiring and supporting people with disabilities in the workplace. Read the Governor's news release.
New Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services to visit southwest Virginia AAAs The Commonwealths new Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services will visit southwest Virginia next week to meet with officials of local Area Agencies on Aging and tour facilities to learn about the services they offer in nutrition, transportation, health promotion and related areas. Read more.
Governor McAuliffe announces federal grant to bolster Virginias supports and services for residents with dementia Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the Commonwealth has secured a federal grant that will strengthen and expand services for Virginians experiencing dementia. Read more.
Website offering information on dementia relaunched The AlzPossible website, alzpossible.org, has a new look aimed at helping professional caregivers in Virginia with updated information on Alzheimers disease and other dementias. Learn more
Project SEARCH students graduate with new job skills Nearly 100 Virginia students with intellectual and developmental disabilities gained valuable work experience and interpersonal skills this school year through an innovative program that ran at 13 sites during the 2013-14 academic year in Virginia. Read more about Project SEARCH and the students' accomplishments.
Hershey's HR representative to speak about championing disability employment A representative of the human resources department at The Hershey Co. will discuss the confectioner's efforts to hire more individuals with disabilities during a program held May 14 by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. Learn more about Hershey's recruitment program and the Blue Ridge region's champions of disability employment honored. Learn more
Commonwealth Council on Aging honors F.R.E.E. Foundation with first prize among 2014 'Best Practices' awards The F.R.E.E. Foundation Equipment Reuse/Recycling and Gifting Program of Roanoke won the Commonwealth Council on Aging's top 2014 'Best Practices' award for its creative and effective approach to serving older Virginians. Read more about this program and the other honorees. Read more
DARS honored for program that provides disability beneficiaries with guidance to employment An innovative program by the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services that increases the likelihood of employment for Virginians who receive disability benefits has won an award for excellence. The National Council on Rehabilitation Education presented DARS Commissioner Jim Rothrock and the agency with its 2013 President's Award for Excellence in Vocational Rehabilitation. Learn more about the honor and the WISA program.
DARS honors 2013 'champions' of disability The Commonwealth's 2013 Disability Employment Champions include a Richmond member of a presidential committee for people with disabilities and a Newport News businesswoman who has hired fellow agency clients to work for her home care company. 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 honorees.
DARS provides tips to help Medicare recipients get ready for open enrollment It's time for Medicare beneficiaries to start thinking about their health care needs and preparing for open enrollment this fall. Liz Havenner, the Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program state director, has these tips for older Virginians who may wonder what they can do now to get ready for the enrollment period, Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Health needs change and health plans may alter benefits and costs each year, making it critical to evaluate and update Medicare choices regularly. Learn more about what steps you can take.
Former WWE wrestler says sports should give children life lessons, not brain damage Chris Nowinski, whose career as a professional wrestler ended after repeated concussions, will discuss his efforts to alert parents and health care providers to the dangers of sports concussions in children as Commonwealth agencies and community partners come together July 26 for "Brain Injury Report Out Day." Learn more about the biennial event.
New position to coordinate Virginia's dementia services Charlotte Arbogast is joining the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services as the Commonwealth's first dementia services coordinator. In her role, Ms. Arbogast will review existing programs and work with agencies to more effectively deliver services to Virginians with dementia and identify gaps and reduce duplication in those services. Read more about this new position.
DARS seeks public participation in brain injury needs and resources assessment The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services seeks public participation in a statewide survey to learn more about the needs of individuals with brain injury and their family members or caregivers in the Commonwealth. Learn more about how to participate.
SRC honors four with leadership recognition award Toney Lineberry, chair of the State Rehabilitation Council, and Commissioner Jim Rothrock of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services have announced the council’s 2013 Roy J. Ward Employee Leadership Recognition Awards for outstanding service and contribution to the field of vocational rehabilitation and the disability community. Read about the honorees.
"Project Search" students graduate with new job skills Nearly 90 students participated this school year in an innovative and expanding workforce and career development program that helps Virginia youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities gain valuable work experience and interpersonal skills. Learn more here about the program.
Program initiated by former First Lady honored by Commonwealth Council on Aging A caregiver program at Williamsburg’s Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health modeled on the Rosalynn Carter Institute on Caregiving’s signature program won the top 2013 “Best Practices” award from the Commonwealth Council on Aging.
Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center students square off in forklift “rodeo” Students from the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center will demonstrate their new workplace skills at lifting and transporting materials in a forklift “rodeo” using equipment donated by Dominion Resources, the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. Learn more about the donated Caterpillar forklift and its importance in the material handling and forklift training program at WWRC.
DARS expands popular chronic disease self-management education program Following a successful introduction in Virginia, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is expanding a popular chronic disease self-management education program that has helped more than 3,500 Virginians learn to live healthier lives. Learn more about “You Can! Live Well, Virginia!”
2013 State Plan Public Hearings The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the Virginia State Rehabilitation Council invite your attendance at a public forum to receive comment on the DARS Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Programs. Click here to learn more about the forums and how to submit your comments.
DARS announces temporary voucher program for caregiver respite Virginia families who care for a loved one with disabilities or chronic conditions can apply for up to $400 reimbursement for respite care under a new, limited voucher program from the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. Beginning Jan. 29, caregivers may apply to the Lifespan Respite Voucher Program, which will distribute vouchers to qualified and approved families for reimbursement from a federal grant. Learn more about respite care and the voucher program.
Medicare scammers targeting Virginians Virginians are warned to protect their personal identity information following a spate of bogus calls to Medicare beneficiaries across the Commonwealth in which callers threaten to terminate coverage or cut off Social Security checks if recipients refuse to provide requested information. Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from medical identity theft.
DARS lauds employers for championing disability employment 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.
DARS awards contracts for programs serving individuals with brain injuries The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services has awarded contracts beginning this month through June 2014 for programs on the Eastern Shore and in Virginia Beach that serve people with brain injuries. Click here to learn more.
WWRC students refurbishing 500 donated computers Students with disabilities enrolled in job skills classes at the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center are honing their new capabilities this summer as they refurbish some 500 donated desktop computers for use on campus. Click here to learn more.
Virginians benefit from new Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services Beginning July 1, the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services will focus on improving the response to seniors and Virginians with disabilities who need some aid in maintaining their options for independence, safety and employment. Click here to learn more.
SRC Honors Three with Leadership Recognition Award DARS Commissioner Jim Rothrock today joined Sandra Cook, chairwoman of the State Rehabilitation Council, in announcing the Roy J. Ward Employee Leadership Recognition Awards for outstanding service and contribution to the field of vocational rehabilitation and the disability community. Click here to learn more.
Project Search Students Graduate with Job Skills Nearly 80 students who participated this school year in an innovative workforce and career development program that helps Virginia youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn about the workplace are graduating with new job and interpersonal skills Click here to learn more.
SSA and new Compassionate Allowances On April 11, the U.S. Social Security Administration announced 52 new Compassionate Allowances conditions, primarily involving neurological disorders, cancers and rare diseases. The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years. Click here for more information.
DARS 2012 State Plan public hearingsDARS and the Virginia State Rehabilitation Council will hold a series of public forums to receive comment on the DARS Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Programs. Each year, DARS prepares a State Plan that describes how Virginia provides rehabilitation services. A draft of the upcoming State Plan will be available on the DARS website or the State Rehabilitation Council’s website by April 15. Review the current State Plan online under “Public Documents”.
Virginia Transition Forum 2012 focuses on “Technology for Transition: Making the Connection” Nearly 1,000 people, including students with disabilities, family members, advocates and service providers, will attend the Virginia Transition Forum in Roanoke March 12-14 for workshops and discussions on making the successful transition from school to adulthood.