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Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models
for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Webcast: September 30, 2009 Print E-mail

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Autism Spectrum Disorders Career Links

September 30, 2009
(2 PM CDT, 3 PM EDT)

About the Webcast

The presenter will describe the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Autism Spectrum Disorders Career Links project. The NIDRR-funded project conducts evidence-based research on vocational rehabilitation (VR) service models for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The project is a collaborative initiative between VCU and the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS).
The project includes research in four areas: (1) the impact of intensive, community-based work experiences on the employment outcomes of youth with ASDs; (2) the postsecondary school participation and ultimate employment of college students with ASDs; (3) the impact of personal digital assistants (PDAs) on the employment outcomes of individuals with ASDs; and (4) a longitudinal analysis of VR service delivery and employment outcomes among DRS clients with ASDs. The project also includes dissemination activities such as web casts, fact sheets, evidence-based journal articles, and a toolkit on how to enhance VR employment models for youth with ASDs.

About the Presenters

Jennifer Todd McDonough has been a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and working in the field of employment for people with disabilities for over 10 years. She earned her M.S. from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Rehabilitation Counseling. Jennifer is the Associate Director of Training at the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center where she provides technical assistance on employment issues for individuals with disabilities. Ms. McDonough is also the Project Coordinator for the Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders DRRP. Additionally, she provides technical assistance and disseminates resources nationally to individuals interested in pursuing self-employment. Ms. McDonough is a national expert on Social Security Disability Benefits and Work Incentives. Throughout her career with VCU-RRTC, Ms. McDonough has worked directly with individuals with disabilities assisting them in locating employment and determining accommodation needs.

Dr. Carol Schall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy and the Director of the Virginia Autism Resource Center. She has over 20 years experience supporting adolescents and adults with ASD as a teacher, group home supervisor, administrator, and consultant. She was honored by TASH in 2005 with their Positive Approaches Award for exemplary support of people with disabilities through the use of positive behavior support. She has authored multiple articles and book chapters focusing on the needs of young adults with ASD, a new book due to be published by Paul H. Brookes in the fall of 2008 with the working title Growing up with Autism. Her research interests include transition from school to work and adult life, psychotropic medication management and monitoring for individuals with ASD, and training for parents and professionals serving individuals with ASD.

Dr. David H. Dean is the Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Richmond and Director of UR's Bureau of Disability Economics Research (BDER). Dr. Dean has served as principal investigator on both federal and state grants and contracts (including the U.S. Department of Education, the Veterans Administration, the Social Security Administration, and DRS) examining the efficacy of programs serving persons with disabilities. Previously, Dr. Dean served as project director on a five-year project funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research examining the efficacy of disability income systems. Dr. Dean has published the results of many of these research projects in refereed economics journals and rehabilitation journals.

Richard Kriner, LPC, CRC
, has 10 years of experience in working with and for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities. Richard's most recent work experiences came as a Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) Program Manager with oversight responsibilities to the Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council and for Virginia's statewide network of Disability Services Board (DSB). In other roles with DRS, Richard has worked with the Virginia Disability Program Navigator Initiative, a statewide project focused on enhancing access to workforce service for all persons with disabilities, and as Vocational Counselor. Prior to coming to DRS Richard worked in community and facility based settings providing therapeutic recreation services, substance abuse counseling, and supported employment.

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Note: There are no CEUs for the September 30, 2009 webcast.

This webcast is supported through SEDL's Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders project and the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), which are funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education. The webcast is supported in part by ILRU. The opinions and views expressed are those of the presenters and no endorsement by the funding agency should be inferred.