ExploreVR uses a variety of mechanisms that provide interactive, participant-driven opportunities to translate research, share information, and inform practice and policy development. Technical assistance (TA) activities facilitate the dissemination of products, curricula, and knowledge throughout the vocational rehabilitation (VR) community, to other disability and employment service providers, and to disability advocacy organizations.
ExploreVR hosts a range information from VR national centers and research projects focusing on a variety of disability employment related topics such as job-driven and demand-side strategies, program management, and social security disability insurance recipients. We provide three types of project-driven technical assistance (TA): universal/general TA, targeted/specialized TA, and intensive TA.
Universal/General TA is geared toward self- directed users and includes access to published material (e.g., newsletters, summary reports and briefs, curriculum guides, FAQs, and archived multimedia training materials). ExploreVR features an extensive array of published webinars, tools and resources.
ExploreVR features a number of free webinars related to vocational rehabilitation (VR). Webinars allow participants and presenters to interact in real time, allowing for two-way interaction. Webinar participation is completely online and allows organizations and individuals to communicate and share resources, despite barriers of geographic location. Learn more about ExploreVR’s webinars.
ExploreVR houses a number of toolkits aimed at providing resources and tools to help VR implement job-driven strategies. The toolkits include content and resources in a variety of different formats such as educational animations, videos, briefs, downloadable factsheets and checklists, and more. View the Job-Driven toolkits.
Targeted/Specialized TA will address a range of TA needs common to multiple recipients and including one-time events, such as strategic planning facilitation or hosting regional or national conferences as well as episodic, less labor-intensive, events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients.
COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
TA activities are based in part upon a community of practice approach. Individuals with a common interest in a problem or topic collaborate over time to define the topic, share ideas, and develop solutions or strategies. The working group defines a goal or outcome, and the duration of the working group depends on the complexity of the topic and the goal. Communities of practice disseminate research findings, define and expand the understanding of current strategy and policy, and inform local policy makers in participant networks. Click here to view the findings of the former Small Business and Community Colleges communities of practice. Contact us to learn more about the current Job-Driven Business Engagement Data and Labor Market Information Communities of Practice.
TARGETED TA FORUMS
Targeted TA forums provide an environment for state VR agencies to come together for an in-person meeting to exchange ideas about a pertinent VR topic in the field. Representatives from a number of agencies present their agency’s experience with a topic and how it lead to improved employment outcomes. The targeted TA forums also include facilitated discussions of issues and strategies involved in managing the implementation of new service delivery approaches, policies, and agency staff roles. View more information about the Targeted TA forums on VR-CRP Partnerships and VR Business Relations.
National Centers housed on ExploreVR are positioned to provide high quality, effective Intensive TA in relevant project topical areas. Our staff and content experts adapted the Learning Collaborative model as a vehicle to provide intensive TA through sharing staff content expertise while facilitating peer-to-peer knowledge exchange. This model has been used successfully with more than 29 State VR Agencies and features include face- to-face meetings, on-site and distance consultation, self-assessment, and evaluation.
Projects on ExploreVR support learning collaboratives to initiate cross VR agency strategies for problem solving, identification and application of practice based solutions, and evaluation of related outcomes. Contact us to learn more about our current learning collaboratives: