Announcing the participants of the Vermont Progressive Employment Learning Collaborative

TO: State vocational rehabilitation directors, the Council on State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the general public

CC: The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and grantees

FROM: The Vocational Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VR-RRTC) on Demand-Side Strategies at the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston

RE: Announcing the participants of the Vermont Progressive Employment Learning Collaborative

DATE: April 24, 2015

In collaboration with the Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the Institute for Community Inclusion is engaged in an exciting research activity that is seeking to replicate and evaluate the Vermont Progressive Employment model (VTPE) in four state VR agencies. The VTPE model enables state VR agencies to take a demand-side approach to service delivery that focuses on both business relations and VR customers with barriers to employment. Vermont DVR piloted the model and documented successful outcomes for VR customers participating in VTPE. The learning collaborative will allow the replication of this model in other state VR agency settings to study the impact on employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

The VR-RRTC on Demand-Side Strategies is pleased to announce the following participants of the Vermont Progressive Employment Learning Collaborative:  

Participating State VR Agencies

Florida Division of Blind Services: Kristin Panella

Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation:  Libby Stone-Sterling

Oregon Commission for the Blind: Nick Bender

Nebraska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: Janet Drudik

Each of the four VR agencies will participate in the learning collaborative as part of a research effort to test and refine the model. The ICI project staff will work closely with the agencies to conduct an impact and process evaluation of the VTPE model replication. The project year will begin on April 1, 2015 and end on March 31, 2016.

For more information, please visit the ExploreVR website at or contact Dr. Susan Foley, Research Director at the Institute for Community Inclusion: