Assessing Virginia's Disability Services (2017)
The Virginians with Disabilities Act § 51.5-33 directs the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD), beginning July 1, 2017, to submit an annual report to the Governor, through the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, that provides an in-depth assessment of at least two major service areas for people with disabilities in the Commonwealth. In June 2016, the Board determined that the 2017 focus would be on the education and employment of individuals with disabilities as related to programs and services operated, licensed, administered, or funded by the Commonwealth.
2017 Assessment of Virginia's Disability Services System - Education
The 2017 Assessment of education services and outcomes is intended to serve as a guide for policymakers who are interested in improving the education of students with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia's educational outcomes for students with disabilities have improved in some respects. The proficiency rates of students with disabilities in the Commonwealth, as measured on standardized assessments, have been slowly, but measurably, improving in recent years. Many students with disabilities are also spending more of their school day in general education classrooms. However, opportunities remain to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
2017 Assessment of Virginia's Disability Services System - Employment
The 2017 Assessment of employment services and outcomes is intended to serve as a guide for policymakers who are interested in improving the employment outlook for people with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
People with disabilities continue to face multiple barriers to employment, including employer beliefs, negative attitudes towards people with disabilities, a lack of post-secondary education and training opportunities, and fear of losing critical public benefits. These barriers are compounded in rural and underserved regions of the Commonwealth, where employment opportunities and access to employment supports are limited. Individuals with disabilities who have access to vocational rehabilitation services have better employment outcomes than those individuals with disabilities who do not have access to these services, and vocational rehabilitation services yield positive returns on investment for the Commonwealth.