Explore VR: Informing Research Policy and Practice


Welcome to ExploreVR!

ExploreVR offers vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies easy and convenient access to a range of VR research, related data, and tools for planning, evaluation, and decision-making.

VR Spotlight

Progressive Employment Logo

Progressive Employment, or PE, is an employment service delivery model used by vocational rehabilitation agencies and community rehabilitation providers. PE provides an integrated approach to addressing the needs of the “dual customer”: job seekers with disabilities and businesses.

Implementing the PE model can help your agency to:

  • Use work-based learning strategies to match businesses and jobseekers in a low-risk/no-risk setting
  • Rapidly engage jobseekers in the VR process
  • Strengthen business relations
  • Improve team communication processes
  • Comply with federal laws such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • Track and use data to improve your results

The ICI’s experts can help you determine if PE model is a good fit for your agency and how best to apply it. We offer training and consultation from launching your PE initiative to tracking its outcomes and sharing your results.

Listen as Hugh Bradshaw tells the story about how the PE model helped engage businesses while allowing customers the opportunity to explore different industries and career options in Vermont.

Hugh Bradshaw: Progressive employment in VT

Hugh Bradshaw is the former Employment Services Manager at VocRehab Vermont and now a content expert at ICI. He played a key role in developing and implementing the Progressive Employment (PE) model that helps engage businesses while allowing customers the opportunity to explore different industries and career options.This model addresses fears on the part of the employer and on the part of the individual candidate by allowing people to get a sense of if the work environment is a good match, and by helping to reduce the resistance and fears of businesses about hiring people with disabilities – even more effectively than disability awareness workshops or trainings. PE also introduces people to businesses and allows businesses to get to know people with disabilities as individuals beyond their disability labels.

ICI's Research in Vocational Rehabilitation

Learn about the Progressive Employment Model and current knowledge.
Access the Apprenticeship toolkit and information about the Rural Youth Apprenticeship Development Project.
Visit the Career Pathways toolkit and learn about VR models in Nebraska and Virginia.
Explore courses and trainings offered by the Program on Innovative Rehabilitation Training on Employer Engagement.

VR Toolkits

The Toolkits provide resources on promising and emerging VR strategies from the field. Explore tools and resources that can help lead to improved employment outcomes for people with disabilities.


Career Pathways programs integrate educational instruction, workforce development, and vocational supports that align with labor market trends and business needs.  


Business Engagement is interaction between employers, vocational rehabilitation (VR), and other organizations.  


Customized Training (CT) programs and partnerships fulfill employer or industry needs for skilled workers.


Apprenticeship programs are industry-driven, high-quality career pathways that offer nationally recognized credentials.


Employer Supports are services provided by vocational rehabilitation (VR) in response to the needs of businesses.


Labor Market Information (LMI) is information for job-seekers about employer hiring trends.


Register for the IT'S EMPLOYMENT self-guided training modules 
Read the Viscardi Center's tips on how to create accessible digital content 
Meet members of the Rural Youth Apprenticeship Advisory Council