The Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment Project
About the Webcast
Research into employment outcomes for the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is critical to assessing participant impact. While VR employment research is essential to documenting any employment outcomes, turning the research data into information that is used by a variety of stakeholders is equally important. This webinar will focus on the NIDILRR-funded Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment (VR ROI) research project to develop a methodologically rigorous model to determine the employment impacts and return on investment for the VR Program. Topics covered include the importance of gaining commitments from researchers and VR agency staff to create an economic model reflective of the VR program, providing multiple avenues for stakeholder engagement with feedback opportunities, and focusing on knowledge translation from the beginning of the project. The VR ROI strategies that make the model relevant to policy makers and VR Counselors will be highlighted.
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About the Presenters:
Dr. Ashley serves as the co-principal investigator on the University of Richmond NIDILRR funded VR Return on Investment Model Demonstration Grant. The focus of this grant is to develop a methodologically sound, state of the science, return on investment model for the Vocational Rehabilitation program. This grant works with eight state VR agencies to develop a ROI model for the VR program. He served as the Assistant Commissioner for Grants & Special Programs for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative services and recently retired from that position. He has over 30 years of experience developing vocational rehabilitation programs that enhance the choices of individuals with disabilities to live and work in their community. Dr. Ashley is currently the Principal for Ashley Consulting, LLC.
Dr. Robert Schmidt, the Co-Principal Investigator for the VR-ROI Project, is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Richmond where he taught for 36 years. Over that period, he served as the chair of the Department of Economics for eleven years and interim dean of the Business School for one year. Bob received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ph.D. from Duke University.
Dr. Maureen McGuire-Kuletz is the Co-Director for George Washington Center for Rehabilitation Counseling Research and Education and Associate Professor at The George Washington University and Associate Professor. Dr. McGuire-Kuletz has over 36 years of combined experience as an educator at the university level and a manager in the public vocational rehabilitation program. Dr. McGuire-Kuletz has over 20 years of direct counseling and administrative experience in addition to teaching experience. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and has served on numerous boards and commissions including the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, the National Rehabilitation Association, the US Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, the Virginia Rehabilitation Association, the National Association of Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Personnel and the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association. She has presented at numerous national conferences and written a number of referred journal articles and book chapters.
Dr. Kirsten Rowe, Grants & Systems Development Specialist for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), serves as the agency’s project coordinator for the Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment research project funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. She also oversees the evaluation of Virginia’s Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities project funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration and represents the agency on the Data Governance Committee for Virginia’s State Longitudinal Data System. She has almost 30 years’ experience in research and program evaluation, and has held research and evaluation positions with DARS, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, the former Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services (now the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services), the School of Nursing and the Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
Rick Sizemore’s service to individuals with disabilities spans 33 years at the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC). He is a graduate of Radford University with degrees in business management, music and radio-television broadcasting. Prior to becoming the WWRC Director in 2007, Rick held a variety of positions at WWRC with increasing responsibility over the past three decades. Rick currently serves as the Vice President of the National Consortium of State Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers having concluded a five-year term as President. Rick is an active volunteer for the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center and produces a successful vocational rehabilitation and disability employment Podcast, VR Workforce Studio that focuses on the employment stories of individuals with disabilities and the business community. The Podcast is top rated in iTunes and available on numerous distribution channels and radio networks.