The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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News Releases


2017

DARS wins grant to help fight leading cause of injuries among older adults A three-year grant to the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services aims to help prevent falls, the leading cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans.
Richmond, Va. – September 18, 2017
New law aids fight against adult financial exploitation DARS and Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring remind Virginians of a new law that will aid investigations into the heinous crime of financial exploitation of older or vulnerable Virginians. The law requires any report of adult financial exploitation received by the state Adult Protective Services hotline or local departments of social services, regardless of the amount of financial loss, to be reported immediately to local law enforcement.
Richmond, Va. – August 3, 2017
Robot rally caps 5-day IT academy for high school students with disabilities A robot rally June 30 will cap a five-day robotics and cyber academy for more than two dozen high school students with disabilities seeking to learn skills and earn certification that could lead to jobs in high-demand fields in Virginia’s IT and manufacturing fields.
Richmond, Va. – June 23, 2017
DARS congratulates Project SEARCH participants on completion of career program About 150 high school students with developmental and intellectual disabilities participated in internships at 17 host sites in Virginia, gaining useful skills and work experience as part of the Project SEARCH program. This career program for high school students with disabilities offers hands-on training in various healthcare or business settings throughout senior year. DARS congratulates the participants on their success.
Richmond, Va. – June 5, 2017
Join us in Roanoke for the Governor’s Conference on Aging Gov. Terry McAuliffe will address the Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging in Roanoke on May 22 at noon as representatives of government, business, nonprofits and academia gather to assess how well the Commonwealth meets the needs of older Virginians. Learn more about the event.
Richmond, Va. – May 17, 2017
DARS Facebook campaign wins statewide award The communications staff for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services won the Capitol Award of Merit for creative tactics at the 70th Virginia Public Relations Awards ceremony. The award recognized a 2016 DARS Facebook campaign designed to raise awareness of the agency’s services and programs and increase the agency’s Facebook followers.
Richmond, Va. – May 12, 2017
Commonwealth Council on Aging honors grocery delivery program for seniors Senior Services of Alexandria won the top 2017 “Best Practices” award from the Commonwealth Council on Aging for its grocery delivery program, which offers food shopping and delivery service to older Alexandrians unable to shop for groceries themselves. This year’s first-place award of $5,000 honors Senior Services of Alexandria’s “Groceries to Go” program.
Richmond, Va. – May 8, 2017
Social Security Administration honors Virginia Disability Determination Services The Social Security Administration honored Virginia’s Disability Determination Services division with its prestigious, national Phoenix Award for performance and customer service.
Richmond, Va. – April 13, 2017
Gov. McAuliffe, Sen. Warner Announce No Wrong Door’s 100th partner Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Senator Mark R. Warner today announced the 100th partner to join No Wrong Door, a public-private effort which helps Virginians gain streamlined access to needed services through a virtual network of resources connecting people, providers and communities. A new website explains the benefits for consumers, providers and communities.
Richmond, Va. – April 12, 2017

2016

Adult financial exploitation costs victims an estimated $28.2 million in SFYI 2015 Adult financial exploitation costs elderly and vulnerable Virginians an estimated $28.2 million, a figure that could well top $1 billion, according to a review by Adult Protective Services. The 2016 General Assembly requested the report, the first look at the scope of adult financial exploitation in the Commonwealth.
Richmond, Va. – Dec. 28, 2016
Grant will expand program to help caregivers for those with dementia Virginia has secured additional federal funding to expand statewide a program to strengthen services for Virginians experiencing dementia and their caregivers. The $276,000 grant from the federal Administration for Community Living allows the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services to broaden the FAMILIES caregiver intervention program.
Richmond, Va. – November 3, 2016
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.
Richmond, Va. – October 12, 2016
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.
Richmond, Va. – September 27, 2016
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.
Richmond, Va. – August 18, 2016
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.
Richmond, Va. – August 8, 2016
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.
Richmond, Va. – July 21, 2016
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.
Richmond, Va. – May 31, 2016
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.
Fishersville, VA – May 25, 2016
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.
Richmond Va. – May 2, 2016
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.
Richmond, Va. – April 19, 2016
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.
Fishersville, VA – April 6, 2016

2015

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.
Richmond, VA – November 23, 2015
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.
Richmond, VA – November 13, 2015
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.
Richmond, VA – October 2, 2015
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.
Richmond, VA – Sept 29, 2015
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.
Richmond, VA – July 31, 2015
Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center ushers in new name July 1 Elizabeth Creamer, advisor for workforce development to Virginia’s 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.
Fishersville, VA – June 24, 2015
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.
Richmond, VA – May 20, 2015
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.
Richmond, VA – May 13, 2015
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
Richmond, VA – April 6, 2015
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
Richmond, VA – April 1, 2015
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.
Richmond, VA – January 29, 2015

2014

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.
Richmond, VA – December 10, 2014
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.
Richmond, VA – November 25, 2014
Tips to help Medicare beneficiaries make decisions during open enrollment It’s 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 Medicare’s enrollment period, Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Learn more about what to consider and where you can find help.
Richmond, VA – October 31, 2014
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.
Richmond, VA – October 29, 2014
New Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services to visit southwest Virginia AAAs The Commonwealth’s 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.
Richmond, VA – October 17, 2014
Governor McAuliffe announces federal grant to bolster Virginia’s 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.
Richmond, VA – October 2, 2014
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 Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Learn more
Richmond, VA – August 6, 2014
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.
Richmond, VA – May 28, 2014
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
Staunton, VA – May 9, 2014
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
Richmond, VA – May 8, 2014

2013

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.
Richmond, VA – Dec. 17, 2013
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.
Richmond, VA – Oct. 10, 2013
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.
Richmond, VA – August 20, 2013
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.
Richmond, VA – July 23, 2013
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.
Richmond, VA – July 19, 2013
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.
Richmond, VA – June 21, 2013
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.
Richmond, VA – June 19, 2013
"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.
Location and Date Richmond, VA – May 16, 2013
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.
Location and Date Richmond, VA – May 14, 2013
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.
Location and Date Fishersville, VA – March 18, 2013
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!”
Location and Date Richmond, VA – Feb. 20, 2013
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.
Location and Date Richmond, VA – Feb. 13, 2013
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.
Location and Date Richmond, VA – Jan. 28, 2013
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.
Location and Date Richmond, VA – Jan. 17, 2013