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The SkillSource Group, Inc. and the Northern Virginia Workforce Development Board are convening employers, public officials, educators, community leaders, and other stakeholders to be part of its monthly Northern Virginia Workforce Conversations.

Please join them on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 8 a.m. for a panel discussion on Bridging the Gap between Employers and Job Seekers with Disabilities. RSVP to reserve your seat today.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 2:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern 
Donna Smith, Director of Training, Easter Seals Project Action Consulting
Kristi McLaughlin, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist II, Easter Seals Project Action Consulting

Easter Seals Project Action Consulting, an organization which helps community agencies find solutions to improve mobility for people with disabilities and their families, will present this free webinar which will address many of the main transportation issues that people with disabilities face today and answer these questions:

  • How do I find a ride?
  • What are the skills needed to use public transportation and where can I or my child gain this knowledge?
  • What are my rights and responsibilities regarding ADA complementary paratransit service?
  • What is an appropriate referral to ADA complementary paratransit or some other form of specialized transportation?

For more information and to register visit Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Training Calendar.





Apply now to join our Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Senior citizens and people with disabilities have a chance to help make Metro better. We’re currently accepting applications from customers
for vacancies on our Accessibility Advisory Committee. The committee reports directly to Metro’s Board of Directors and advises Metro staff on ways to improve Metrobus, Metrorail and MetroAccess.

For more information or to apply:

Go to, roll over Accessibility and click on Advisory Committee in the drop-down menu. To apply, click on Applications for Vacancies in the first sentence. If you’d like an application mailed to you or need the application in an accessible format, please call 202-962-1100.

Apply today. - Deadline to Apply is Monday, March 30, 2015 at 5 p.m.

Accessibility Advisory Committee Information Page

Call for Applications to Serve on the Accessibility Advisory Committee




Disability Scoop
 February 17, 2015

The federal agency tasked with regulating telephones, television and other communications technology is looking for advice on how to better serve people with disabilities.

The Federal Communications Commission is convening a disability advisory committee for the first time.

The 40-member panel, which will hold its first meeting in March, will advise and provide recommendations to regulators on topics ranging from the accessibility of 911 services to closed captioning and telecommunications relay services.

Members include executives from major players like Yahoo, Verizon, AT&T and Comcast in addition to advocates from disability organizations, consumers and government officials.

“This new committee will provide sorely needed expertise and recommendations from consumer and industry stakeholders on communications and video programming issues,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “We look forward to using this expertise to improve our ability to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities.”

Original Article



Disability Scoop
February 13, 2015

As Congress debates the role of testing, a new report finds that schools with the greatest accountability for students with disabilities are most likely to promote inclusion.

Schools held to more stringent academic reporting standards are more likely to deliberately transition kids with disabilities from self-contained to mainstream classrooms, according to the study from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences.

The findings suggest that educators may be more motivated to help students with disabilities achieve alongside their typically-developing peers when schools must account for progress.

Under federal education law, schools must regularly measure and report on the academic performance of students with disabilities as part of their obligation to make adequate yearly progress. However, the requirement is waived for some schools if their population of students with disabilities falls below a minimum threshold set by states.

Looking at schools in 12 states, researchers found that elementary schools that always reported on the progress of their students with disabilities purposefully moved children from segregated to regular classrooms at a rate that was 15.8 percentage points higher than those who never made such accountability reports. Among middle schools, the difference rose to 16.7 percentage points, the study found.

For the report, schools were asked in 2011 about the previous five years. Researchers also reviewed federal government data for the years 2005 to 2008 to identify schools considered “always accountable” — those that had to report on students with disabilities each year — and schools that never had to provide accountability during the time period.

Read More  . . . Inclusion 



Disability Scoop
November 13, 2014

The Obama administration is reminding schools of their wide-ranging responsibilities to students with disabilities who struggle with speech and other communication difficulties.

In guidance issued Wednesday, federal officials said the nation’s public schools have obligations under three separate laws to “ensure that communication with students with hearing, vision and speech disabilities is as effective as communication with all other students.”

While requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act vary, schools must comply with all three laws to meet individual needs. That can mean providing assistance ranging from communication boards or Braille materials to sign-language interpreter services and portable speech-generating devices, according to documents sent jointly from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice.

In cases where assistance is needed, schools should give “primary consideration to students and parents in determining which auxiliary aids and services are necessary to provide such effective communication,” the federal guidance said.

Read More 



Join the January 26 Advocacy Rally in RVA! 

Advocates, be heard! Join with the Arc of VA & other groups for Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. A rally will be held from 10-11 am at the Bell Tower on the State Capitol grounds (corner of 9th & Bank Street, Richmond).

Stay Informed on Legislative Updates 

Have you "liked" the Board's Facebook page? If you are a Facebook user, then comment, share, or "like" the information on the news feed to see posts more often. Since we post 7-10 times per week, it's the fastest way to learn what's even if you do not have a Facebook account, be sure to visit and scroll down to see the latest information.

Affordable Care Act Fact Sheets
Under the ACA, you may have the option to choose a new private plan for your family without losing your child's Medicaid "wrap-around" coverage.

For more information, download the Health Insurance Marketplace & Medicaid Coverage for Children with Disabilities fact sheet (and 3 others which benefit children & youth with special health care needs) today! Other topics include Concurrent Care, Habilitative Services, and Health Home Programs/Coordinated Care.These plain language fact sheets are available from the Catalyst Center and the National Center for Medical Home Implementation.


VBPD does not share your contact information without your permission. The Board shares your concern about privacy and unwanted correspondence, especially junk e-mail. We limit our communications to information you need to be more knowledgeable about issues affecting people with disabilities.

VA Board for People with Disabilities | 800-846-4464 | 1100 Bank St, 7th Floor | Richmond | VA | 23219




Posted from National Disability Institute 
Thank you to BH-News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

(Washington, D.C. – Dec. 17, 2014) – Last night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 by a vote of 76 to 16. First introduced in 2006, and subsequent sessions of Congress, the ABLE Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.

“Today marks a new day in our country’s understanding and support of people with disabilities and their families,” Michael Morris, National Disability Institute (NDI) Executive Director, said. “A major victory for the disability community, ABLE, for the very first time in our country’s policy on disability, recognizes that there are added costs to living with a disability.” He continued. “For far too long, federally imposed asset limits to remain eligible for critical public benefits have served as a roadblock toward greater financial independence for the millions of individuals living with a disability.”

NDI has long championed the ABLE Act as a critical strategy to providing a pathway to a better economic future for all people with disabilities. As the nation’s first nonprofit dedicated to improving the financial health and future of all people with disabilities, the organization has extensively documented and called attention to the daily reality and extra expenses associated with living with a disability, and the challenges of navigating the complex web of government rules to maintain public benefits eligibility.

In recognition of this unprecedented legislation, NDI has created a list of 10 items about ABLE accounts that individuals with disabilities and their families should know:

ABLE Accounts: 10 Things You Must Know

  1. What is an ABLE account?

Read More  . . .





Disability Scoop
 December 15, 2014

The federal government added people with disabilities to its payroll at a higher rate last year than at any other time in the last three decades.

More than 16,000 people with disabilities were hired by the U.S. government during fiscal year 2013, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management. That brought the total number of federal workers with disabilities to 234,395.

“This success has led to more people with disabilities (on board) in federal service, both in real terms and by percentage than at any time in the past 33 years,” wrote Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management in her report to President Barack Obama.

By September 2013, people with disabilities accounted for 12.8 percent of federal employees, an increase of nearly 1 percent over the prior year, the report said.

At the same time, the number of workers with targeted disabilities — including intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, deafness, blindness, paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism and psychiatric disabilities — also ticked up slightly to 18,665, federal officials said.

Read More  . . .


Date: April 26 - May 3, 2015
Location: Various screening locations throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan area
Greater DC Information

ReelAbilities Website

Founded in 2007, ReelAbilities is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. The unique film festival presents award-winning films of the highest cinematic and artistic quality. Screening are accompanied by relevant programs and engaging speakers to help the community explore and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. The ReelAbilities Film Festival is hosted in 14 major cities throughout the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC. The upcoming festival will be Greater DC's fourth year as host and will showcase the vast array of unique and creative films produced by local and national talent.

ReelAbilities strives for inclusion of all people. Individuals needing accommodations to participate should contact the presenting organization in their city in advance of the event.

ASL interpretation, CART, Audio Description, and information in Braille are available upon advance request.

All films are captioned or subtitled (unless otherwise noted) and all venues are wheelchair accessible.

Greater DC Information



(Thanks to Fairfax County Disability Services)

Thursday, November 6
7-9 p.m.
JCCNV – 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031

The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) and The Washington Group Special Care Planning Team invite you to join them for a workshop on housing for individuals with disabilities. This workshop will showcase working housing models, residential ideas, and supports for individuals with disabilities.  There will also be a housing-focused resource fair.  This workshop is open to all for free.  Please RSVP to Carey Alford by Tuesday, November 4 at 703-865-6502 or





September 23, 2014


Survey Season-Open until Early October! Computer Monitor with Survey

People with disabilities, family members, concerned citizens, care providers, and policymakers-we need your help! Have you taken 10 minutes to fill out the Board's survey? We want your input to know how we're doing, so please take time to complete it online. The survey is available on the home page of (in the slider on the right) or by typing into your web browser. If you have trouble accessing the survey or need a printed copy, please dial 800-846-4464 or send an email to with your contact information so we can assist you.



Family with Laptop

 Health Survey Open until Oct. 3

The Virginia Dept. of Health (VDH) is conducting a needs assessment study for women, children, and families in Virginia. If you have children with special health care needs, please take a few minutes to complete the VDH online survey.



Transportation Survey Open until October 10

iRide Van

Getting around the Commonwealth can be a challenge for people with disabilities. How do you travel now? How would you like to travel in the future? Give your opinion now and you can help guide Virginia's transportation in the future.



It's Here-Your Comprehensive Resource!

2014 Disability AssessmentFor those engaged in understanding and improving Virginia's supports and services for individuals with developmental and other disabilities, the Board's 2014 Assessment of the Disability Service System in Virginia is an essential reference, with data and descriptions of many of the programs and services administered, funded, provided, or licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Note: This year there are two separate volumes-Volume 1 is a 68-page document, Key Findings and Board Recommendations, plus the 500 page Volume 2, available online as an accessible PDF file (preferred distribution method). Both documents are available on CD upon request at 800-846-4464 or send an email to if unable to access online.


Fellowship Program Applications Open until October 30 glasses-man-portrait.jpg

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is seeking professionals, family members, or people with disabilities who are working or volunteering in the field of inclusive services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The purpose of the one-year fellowship is to prepare both early career and seasoned leaders to excel in the public policy arena in their home state or nationally. Applications are accepted online until 5:00 pm EST October 30, 2014. If you have questions, please contact Steven M. Eidelman.

Keeping Virginians informed about disability services and issues is one of our most important responsibilities! Thank you for sharing this information.

VBPD does not share your contact information without your permission. The Board shares your concern about privacy and unwanted correspondence, especially junk e-mail. We limit our communications to information you need to be more knowledgeable about issues affecting people with disabilities.






As the U.S. celebrates the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, a first-of-its-kind report shows people with disabilities are less financially stable than people without disabilities

(Washington, D.C. - July 22, 2014) - A new report released today from National Disability Institute (NDI) shows 24 years after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law and guaranteed all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve "economic self-sufficiency,"people with disabilities are less financially stable than people without disabilities.

Based on data collected from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's 2012 National Financial Capability Study released last year, this groundbreaking report highlights for the first time a nationwide snapshot of the financial capability and financial wellness of adults with disabilities.

National Disability Institute's report, Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities - Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation 2012 National Financial Capability Study,analyzed data from 1,363 of the more than 25,000 respondents to the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) self-identifying as "permanently sick, disabled or unable to work." While the report analyzes one segment of people with disabilities, the results provide an important lens on the financial capability of many Americans with disabilities. According to U.S. Census data, nearly one in three people with disabilities in the United States live in poverty, a figure nearly double the national poverty rate.

...continue reading "NDI Report Finds Adults with Disabilities Continue to be Economically Shortchanged"



States are failing to meet their obligations to transition individuals with disabilities out of institutions and into community settings, a year-long investigation finds.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled more than a decade ago in a case known as Olmstead v. L.C. that unnecessarily segregating individuals with disabilities in institutions is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nonetheless, a report set to be released Thursday by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee finds that the number of people with disabilities in nursing homes is on the rise and, as of 2010, just a dozen states devoted the majority of their Medicaid dollars to community-based care.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead was a landmark moment for the disability community,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the committee. “Yet … 14 years later, many states are still not making a commitment to provide all individuals with disabilities the choice to live in their own homes and communities. This is amazing given that study after study has shown that home and community-based care is not only what people want, but is more cost-effective.”

Last year, Harkin asked officials from all 50 states to provide him with information about their progress in transitioning individuals with disabilities out of institutions. The report being issued this week details what the senator found.

Read more  . . 



Disability Scoop

A key U.S. senator is looking to introduce legislation to dramatically expand access to community-based services for people with disabilities nationwide.

An aide for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, confirms to Disability Scoop that the veteran lawmaker is planning to introduce a bill this summer that would bolster the rights of people with disabilities to obtain the support they need in the communities where they live.

“(Harkin) is currently looking at developing legislation that would enhance community access, inclusion and support in order to ensure that all individuals with disabilities can receive home and community-based services and supports in their own towns, cities and neighborhoods throughout America,” Allison Preiss, a spokeswoman for the senator, told Disability Scoop.

Read More  . . .