Highlights From Recently Closed Grants

Grant Title: Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention (LEAP) (2013-2016)
Grantee: Virginia Commonwealth University
Award Amount: $178,125   Match Amount: $59,375
Area of Emphasis: Formal/Informal Community Supports
Description: The project’s purpose was to teach people with disabilities about healthy relationships and how to better protect themselves from sexual assault, abuse, neglect, and violence. The project ended in September 2016. A total of 519 people with disabilities were been trained through the LEAP program since it was initiated in 2013; 281 individuals were trained from October 2015 to September 2016. Other project accomplishments include the creation of a manual for trainers, an adapted curriculum and the establishment of five training teams of individuals with disabilities and professionals. Efforts are also underway to provide a companion training for LEAP for staff and family members. LEAP staff have submitted a proposal to the Raliance Foundation and negotiations are in the works to apply for a Jenkins Foundation grant in the future which would allow this effort to truly make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities. The Board will continue to monitor the progress of this initiative.  Final Report


Grant Title: EasyLiving Home Replication in Virginia (2015-2016)
Grantee: Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions, Inc. (VAHS)
Award Amount: $10,000   Match Amount: $0
Area of Emphasis: Housing
Description: The primary goal of the project was to promote cross-cutting local, regional and statewide collaboration to build welcoming and accessible communities and to promote the building of multi-family and community housing options using a universal design. Over the past year, project funds have been used for management and consultative and administrative support of organization goals and objective. VAHS, Inc. has developed a strategic plan to grow and sustain the organization and to continue outreach and education efforts associated with program expansion and awareness. One of the key drivers of the sustainability plan and expansion efforts is a plan for the expansion of Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions, Inc. beyond that of the EasyLiving Home program into retrofitting. The partnerships that have been developed continue to pave the way for more accessible, visitable and livable communities. VBPD continues to sit on the VAHS Board.


Grant Title: Advocates Building Livable Environments (ABLE) – Continuation (2013-2015)
Grantee: Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL)Website
Award Amount: $150,000   Match Amount: $0
Area of Emphasis: Housing
Description: The Board’s initial grant of $171,049 to the Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL) to conduct Project Able has been extended to 2017, with an additional $150,000, based on the need to create focused training for building professionals. The original Project ABLE program educated over 300 participants on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA Accessibility Guidelines, Fair Housing Act, American National Standards Institute, and universal design concepts. Over 600 copies of the “Accessibility Reference Manual for Building Professionals in Virginia,” as well as 200 flash drives, were distributed to professionals and advocates. More than 40 advocates participated in visits/trainings of the 277 Virginia building officials in 138 jurisdictions. This program extension builds on the previous Project ABLE’s “Accessibility Reference Manual for Virginia Building Professionals” by providing an interactive, immersive, computer-based learning environment that includes video, audio, graphic, and game engine-based technologies (in an accessible format) designed to acquaint the student with selected 2010 ADA Guidelines to provide “real life” relevance for Virginia’s building professionals and to provide continuing education (CEUs) opportunities for those professionals. Since April of 2016, over three-hundred and fifty building professionals, code officials and Centers for Independent Living (CIL) advocates have been provided training on the modules and related reference material. An additional 500 flash drives were created which contained the above mentioned learning modules and game-based scenarios, in addition to the Accessibility Reference Manual and Fair Housing Design Manual. All training materials will be available online via the VACIL website (www.vacil.org) for ease of access.  Final Report


Project Title: Employment for All Citizens of the Arc of Southside (2013-2015)
Grantee: VCU Rehabilitation Research & Training Center (RRTC) Website
Award Amount: $243,975   Match Amount: $27,108
Area of Emphasis: Employment
Description: The purpose of the project was to convert the Hatcher Employment Program (a sheltered workshop) administered by The Arc of Southside to a community, integrated employment program focused on competitive employment outcomes. RRTC aimed to develop and maintain a skilled Arc of Southside staff and assist 30 adults with disabilities transition from sheltered (center-based) employment to integrated, competitive employment in the community and to ensure that all individuals seeking employment made informed choices. The Arc of Southside, located in Blairs, Virginia, serves an economically depressed area of the state. The project also sought to facilitate community-based employment for the people who were supported at the Hatcher sheltered work facility and to expand services to other unserved individuals with disabilities. Two years of post-grant monitoring were required of the grantee, which concluded in September 2017. As of September of 2017, 22 organizations were involved in this systems change effort and 33 individuals were able to leave their sheltered workshop and gain a job of their choice. Final Report


Project Title: Improving Oral Health for Individuals with Development Disabilities (2013-2015)
Grantee: Virginia Oral Health Coalition (VaOHC) Website
Award Amount: $89,143   Match Amount: $41,161
Area of Emphasis: Healthcare
Description: The primary goal of the project was to build statewide provider capacity and commitment for the provision of dental health services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). VaOHC successfully met this goal by facilitating three special needs dentistry trainings for 60 dental providers and three clinic care days where 37 individuals with DD received dental services, education and dental self-efficacy materials on performing oral hygiene tasks and assessing dental services. As a result of the grant work, there is a cohort of dental professionals and students in Virginia who are trained and committed to providing oral health care and education to adults with disabilities. In addition to building a workforce with the skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality oral care, VaOHC sought to engage new partners in the oral health network and raise awareness of oral health issues faced by the Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (Iw/DD) population to build a foundation that can advance future policy change. Partnerships forged with residential care facilities have resulted in increased awareness among care providers about the importance of consistent oral health care and the resources available to ensure that their clients can access dental services. VAOHC Final Report


Grant Title: Empowerment to Prevent Institutionalization (2013 – 2015)
Grantee: Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL) Website
Award Amount: $124,688   Match Amount: $45,597
Area of Emphasis: Formal/Informal Community Supports
Description: The purpose of the project was to provide education to medical and related healthcare professionals on services available to people with disabilities in order to better support those individuals in the community. It helped prevent the institutionalization of people with disabilities who experienced medical interventions, behavioral stress, or family changes that could result in the risk of placement in an institutional setting by Centers for Independent Living (CIL) training providers statewide. The grantee, VACIL, enlisted 10 local CILs from the rural areas (Eastern Short; Grundy and Norton, Southwest Virginia) and urban areas (Norfolk, Hampton, Fredericksburg, Roanoke, Winchester, and Richmond). In 2016, CIL advocates distributed resource directories to 2,104 individuals and diverse community groups/ organizations. In addition, 300 people with disabilities received support, including access to transportation and affordable housing. Over the course of the grant, 74 workshops were held across all ten CIL regions and 967 individuals were trained. This outcome far exceeded the estimated target for the grant.  Final Report


Project Title: Opportunities Abound: Early Planning for Your Future (2012-2015)
Grantee: Valley Associates for Independent Living (VAIL) Website
Award Amount: $40,000   Match Amount: $23,000
Area of Emphasis: Education
Description: During this project, VAIL partnered with Resources for Independent Living (RIL) in Richmond to work with school divisions in their respective regions to begin career exploration and transition planning for students with disabilities as early as elementary and middle schools and to design Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals, with the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency, higher education and later, employment. Training and evaluation was provided to school personnel, parents and students by means of workshops online videos and survey tools. A transition manual was also created to assist families and transition planners within the communities served. In addition, twenty student participants were followed during the course of the grant for a five-year period (including the two-year post grant period) to provide outcome data to VBPD. Over the course of this grant, VAIL was able to complete 195 workshops and reach a total of 264 individuals (students, parents, school personnel and professionals).


Grant Title: Improvement and Expansion of Consumer Directed Services (2010-2012)
Grantee: Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL)Website
Award Amount: $215,000   Match Amount: $71,667
Area of Emphasis: Formal/Informal Community Supports
Description: The primary goal of the project was to increase the number of professionals who provide consumer-directed (C-D) support to people with developmental and other disabilities. VACIL developed a statewide outreach and awareness campaign to recruit individuals by targeting local Virginia Employment Commission Offices/Workforce Development Centers, local Special Education Advisory Committees, high schools, colleges, non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses and local DARS offices. Information about C-D employment and the workshops was provided to 32 media outlets (including newspaper, radio and TV), through the internet and through various organizations. Workshops about C-D services, as well as independent living and person-centered philosophy, for junior and seniors in high school, college students and others were conducted: Statewide, 67 workshops were held; 739 people attended, of whom 33 identified themselves as a person with a disability and 57 identified themselves as a family member of a person with a disability. Follow up with the workshop participants found that 23 individuals had been hired as a C-D assistant, 2 of whom identified themselves as people with disabilities. A web based registry for individuals seeking employment as a consumer-directed assistant was developed and promoted. In collaboration with DMAS and its fiscal contracted agent, Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), an ongoing site for the directory was established. PPL agreed to host the attendant directory, available here. By the end of September 2012, 246 people entered their information in the directory as seeking employment as a C-D assistant.  Final Report