JD-VRTAC Communities of Practice

The JD-VRTAC is hosting two communities of practice (CoPs) on Labor Market Information and Busienss Engagement Data. 

Turning Labor Market Facts into Labor Market Information

On Thursday, April 27 at 1:00PM EDT, the Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center (JD-VRTAC), VR Research and Training Center on Demand-Side Strategies (Demand-Side RRTC), and the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) will begin the next phase of our Labor Market Information (LMI) Community of Practice, Turning Labor Market Facts into Labor Market Information. This CoP will focus on 2 main areas:

  1. What are different states doing in regard to increasing LMI's utility? What are the successes and barriers? 
  2. What are states doing specifically to get more useful LMI directly into the hands of consumers?

Space for this CoP is limited. If you would like to know more about this CoP, contact Katie Allen at Katie.Allen@umb.edu

Business Engagement Data 

The Business Engagement Data Community of Practice (CoP) successfully concluded Phase 1 on increasing VR agency capacity to better collect and utilize business engagement data. Stay tuned on ExploreVR for a brief outlining solutions and strategies from the group's discussions including: key data elements, strategies for data collection, and lessons learned.
The CoP facilitators will begin a Phase 2 of the Business Engagement Data CoP to focus on analyzing data to improve business engagement activities. The CoP will commence on May 17th at 2:00 PM EDT, and plans to meet at 2:00 PM EDT on the third Wednesday of every month until September.
For more information and to join this CoP, please contact DeBrittany.Mitchell@umb.edu

The Role of CRPs in VR Business Engagement and Employer Support Efforts: JDVRTAC/ WINTAC Community of Practice

This CoP grew out of the Albuquerque Forum held in December 2016, but is open to all who wish to be part of the conversation. Facilitators from the Job Driven VR TAC (JDVRTAC) and the Workforce Innovation TAC (WINTAC) will provide structure and support, but this is your community and your opportunity to share challenges, experiences, and solutions.  You are welcome to extend this invitation to others from your agency, or to your CRP partners.

Sessions will be held on the third Wednesday of the month at 10 Alaska, 11 Pacific, 12 Mountain, 1 Central, and 2 Eastern time.  We will use a conference call format for the March meeting; it will be possible to use an online meeting platform (Collaborate) for future sessions if that would be useful to facilitate sharing of resources.

These are the topics we plan to focus on, based on our Forum discussions:

March 15

Overview of Community of Practice

VR/CRP Communication/Collaboration/Competition

April 19

CRP Accreditation/Staff Certification/Training/Development

May 17

CRP Quality/Evaluation/Score Cards/Profiles and Consumer Choice

June 21

CRP payment structures; fee for service, milestone/outcome, embedded staff

July 19

Developing and working with CRPs in rural areas

Developing/identifying CRPs to work with specialty populations (e.g. blind/visually impaired)

August 16

Approaching business engagement in a strategic and innovative manner while staying within the boundaries of VR policies and procedures


If you plan to join us (or if you just want to be kept apprised of CoP activities), please email Laurie Ford at lhf4@uw.edu.


Paid Work Experiences: Internships, Pre-Apprenticeships and Registered Apprenticeships

The Paid Work Experiences Community of Practice stimulates a rich discussion about current strategies and practices to increase the participation of people with disabilities in paid work experiences. Participants from each state VR agency share their successes and challenges in expanding paid work experiences for their consumers, including a range of perspectives from the states involved.

To join the listserv, send an email to listserv@listserv.uark.edu. Leave the subject line blank and include the following text in the body of the email: ADD APPRENTICESHIP your email address followed by your name

EXAMPLE: ADD APPRENTICESHIP johndoe@email.com John Doe


Communities of practice disseminate research findings, define and expand the understanding of current strategy and policy, and inform local policy makers in participant networks. These communities of practice are part of the JD-VRTAC, a national center housed at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The center is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) within the US Department of Education under grant #H264A140002. The JD-VRTAC is part of ExploreVR, the data hub for a group of vocational rehabilitation research projects at the ICI. The Labor Market Information CoP is also part of the VR Research and Training Center on Demand-Side Strategies, which is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) Grant # H133B120002.‚Äč