Welcome to Grants & Special Programs

The Division of Grants and Special Programs assists the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) in advancing employment and independence of people with disabilities by developing and managing resources, enhancing Agency programs and services, and partnering with the Workforce System.


The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired are participating in the Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities Model Demonstration project that will enhance the capacity of existing regional career pathways systems in Virginia to serve individuals with disabilities, including youth. The project is funded by the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration, and its goals are to:

  1. Help individuals with disabilities to acquire marketable skills and recognized post-secondary credentials that enable them to secure competitive integrated employment in high-demand, high-quality occupations
  2. Enhance access to and use of existing programs
  3. Strengthen the alignment of Virginia's VR programs and other programs authorized by WIOA and other federally funded programs

Through partnerships with career pathways system partners, we focus on the development of industry sector strategies that increase our ability to meet business needs in high demand occupations; we provide pathways to training to meet the needs of employers, including the attainment of stackable and marketable career credentials; we make available professional development for VR counselors and selected CPID partners who work with VR clients, and we increase accessibility to middle skilled jobs overall for our consumers. More...

Contact Emily West emily.west@dars.virginia.gov

Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment

Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment Project

DARS is a partner in the Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment Project funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research through a five-year grant to the University of Richmond.

For more information, visit the project website at https://www.vrroi.org/ or contact Kirsten Rowe kirsten.rowe@dars.virginia.gov.

Disability Employment Initiative

Disability Employment Initiative

DARS is a strategic partner, with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) in the implementation of the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), funded by the Employment and Training Administration in coordination with the Office of Disability Employment Policy, through a 40 month grant to VCCS.

For more information, visit the project website athttps://dei.workforcegps.org/about or contact Sinclair Hubard at sinclair.hubard@dars.virginia.gov.


Work Incentives Specialist Advocates

Work Incentives Specialist Advocates (WISA’s), are individuals who have been certified to provide work incentives counseling services to DARS clients who are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Virginia WISAs use WorkWORLD for the Web (WW), an online, Virginia specific program that provides accurate information on how a SSI/SSDI client's financial circumstances will change once they go to work.

For more information, contact David Leon david.leon@dars.virginia.gov.

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