Highlights From Recently Closed Grants

Grant Title: Virginia NICU Early Intervention Collaborative
Grantee: Virginia Hospital Research & Education Foundation
Award Amount: $125,000  Match Amount: $41,670
Area of Emphasis: Formal/Informal Community Supports

Description: The goal of the project was to achieve systems change of practice and improvement in outcomes for all infants and young children by engaging Virginia Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and their community partners in a statewide learning and improvement collaborative to enhance linkages to Early Intervention (EI) services for NICU patients and families. The project aimed to improve and expand NICU referrals and follow up, enhance policies, practices, and competencies by developing training models that ensure effective and efficient linkages to support and services for patients and families. The project began in October 2016 and concluded in September of 2018. VHREF developed several resources, including best practice protocols for hospitals on when and how to make referrals, an Encyclopedia of Measures for collecting data, and a skill-building handout which helps providers coach parents as they prepare to take their children home. Throughout the course of the project, the grantee conducted several in-person and virtual training events, attended by over 300 individuals and archived many of its developed resources on a dedicated website which has captured over 800 views of the material. Two years of post-grant monitoring are required of the grantee, which will conclude in September 2020. VHREF Final Report


Grant Title: Increasing Transportation Planning in Cities and Counties to Increase Access to Community-Based Healthcare
Grantee: The disAbility Law Center of Virginia
Award Amount: $60,000  Match Amount: $20,000
Area of Emphasis: Transportation

Description: The goal of the project was to achieve systems change by ensuring that people with developmental and other disabilities can utilize public transportation to reach community-based healthcare. By working with community stakeholders and through surveys, data and measurable evidence, the grantee aimed to influence local and regional communities to ensure that sidewalks, curb-cuts and routes of travel from public transportation to medical services are available. The project began in May of 2017 and concluded in September of 2018.  The grantee worked with officials in the areas of Roanoke, City of Richmond, Norfolk and Loudoun County to identify barriers to healthcare facilities that people with developmental and other disabilities face when utilizing public transportation. The grantee developed a “toolkit,” both in hard copy and in an online format, which included an accessibility survey, the addresses for Virginia mayors and county supervisors, as well as a comprehensive listing of Virginia’s transportation providers and letter templates when contacting city/county officials to notify of potential transportation accessibility barriers. During the active grant period, the grantee provided training to over 600 individuals in the targeted areas regarding how to use the toolkit and identify/report public transportation barriers. In addition, the localities of Richmond, Roanoke, and Loudon County have at least partially addressed transportation barriers identified through the project. Two years of post-grant monitoring are required of the grantee, which will conclude in September 2020.


Grant Title: Increasing Access to Disability Resources in non-English Languages
Grantee: The Arc of Northern Virginia
Award Amount: $124,782  Match Amount: $41,600
Area of Emphasis: Targeted Disparity

Description: The primary purpose of the project was to increase access to information and resources related to Early Intervention and Disability planning for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families who are speakers of various non-English languages in Northern Virginia through the translation of vital materials. The guides translated were “Starting Life with your Child with a Disability”; “Getting the Most from Special Education – Preschool through High School”; “Securing a Future for your Child with a Disability”; “Entering the World of Work”; “Finding a Home for Adults with Disabilities” and “Aging with a Disability.” The project began in May of 2017 and ended in November of 2018. During the active grant period, a total of 235 of the translated guides were provided in PDF and hard copy format to families and service providers, including Alexandria City, Arlington, City of Falls Church, and Fairfax County Public Schools; the Down Syndrome Society of Northern Virginia; the Autism Society of Northern Virginia; the Virginia Korean American Disabled Peoples Association; the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia, as well as the Infant and Toddler Connection in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. In addition, the translated guides were viewed 45 times and/or downloaded from the Arc of Northern Virginia’s Transition Points website. Two years of post-grant monitoring are required of the grantee, which will conclude in October 2020. Arc of NOVA Final Project Report


Grant Title: Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention (LEAP) (2013-2016)
Grantee: Virginia Commonwealth University
Award Amount: $178,125  Match Amount: $59,375
Area of Emphasis: Formal/Informal Community Supports

Description:   The project’s purpose was to teach people with disabilities about healthy relationships and how to better protect themselves from sexual assault, abuse, neglect, and violence. A total of 519 people with disabilities were been trained through the LEAP program since it was initiated in 2013; 281 individuals were trained from October 2015 to September 2016. Other project accomplishments include the creation of a manual for trainers, an adapted curriculum and the establishment of five training teams of individuals with disabilities and professionals. Efforts are also underway to provide a companion training for LEAP for staff and family members. The project ended in September 2016 and the grantee reported outcomes to the Board for two additional years. Fifty-nine people were trained in abuse prevention during the last year of the post-grant monitoring period, which ended in September of 2018.
The final report for this project is available on request


Grant Title: Advocates Building Livable Environments (ABLE) – Continuation (2013-2015)
Grantee: Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL)
Award Amount: $150,000  Match Amount: $0
Area of Emphasis: Housing

Description:   The Board’s initial grant of $171,049 to the Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL) to conduct Project Able has been extended to 2017, with an additional $150,000, based on the need to create focused training for building professionals. The original Project ABLE program educated over 300 participants on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA Accessibility Guidelines, Fair Housing Act, American National Standards Institute, and universal design concepts. Over 600 copies of the “Accessibility Reference Manual for Building Professionals in Virginia,” as well as 200 flash drives, were distributed to professionals and advocates. More than 40 advocates participated in visits/trainings of the 277 Virginia building officials in 138 jurisdictions. This program extension builds on the previous Project ABLE’s “Accessibility Reference Manual for Virginia Building Professionals” by providing an interactive, immersive, computer-based learning environment that includes video, audio, graphic, and game engine-based technologies (in an accessible format) designed to acquaint the student with selected 2010 ADA Guidelines to provide “real life” relevance for Virginia’s building professionals and to provide continuing education (CEUs) opportunities for those professionals.  Since April of 2016, over three-hundred and fifty building professionals, code officials and Centers for Independent Living (CIL) advocates have been provided training on the modules and related reference material. An additional 500 flash drives were created which contained the above mentioned learning modules and game-based scenarios, in addition to the Accessibility Reference Manual and Fair Housing Design Manual. All training materials will be available online via the VACIL website (www.vacil.org) for ease of access.  Final Report


Project Title:  Employment for All Citizens of the Arc of Southside (2013-2015)
Grantee:  VCU Rehabilitation Research & Training Center (RRTC) Website
Award Amount:  $243,975   Match Amount:  $27,108
Area of Emphasis: Employment
Description:  The purpose of the project was to convert the Hatcher Employment Program (a sheltered workshop) administered by The Arc of Southside to a community, integrated employment program focused on competitive employment outcomes. RRTC aimed to develop and maintain a skilled Arc of Southside staff and assist 30 adults with disabilities transition from sheltered (center-based) employment to integrated, competitive employment in the community and to ensure that all individuals seeking employment made informed choices. The Arc of Southside, located in Blairs, Virginia, serves an economically depressed area of the state. The project also sought to facilitate community-based employment for the people who were supported at the Hatcher sheltered work facility and to expand services to other unserved individuals with disabilities. Two years of post-grant monitoring were required of the grantee, which concluded in September 2017. As of September of 2017, 22 organizations were involved in this systems change effort and 33 individuals were able to leave their sheltered workshop and gain a job of their choice.  Final Report


Project Title:  Improving Oral Health for Individuals with Development Disabilities (2013-2015)
Grantee:  Virginia Oral Health Coalition (VaOHC) Website
Award Amount:  $89,143     Match Amount:  $41,161
Area of Emphasis: Healthcare
Description:  The primary goal of the project was to build statewide provider capacity and commitment for the provision of dental health services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). VaOHC successfully met this goal by facilitating three special needs dentistry trainings for 60 dental providers and three clinic care days where 37 individuals with DD received dental services, education and dental self-efficacy materials on performing oral hygiene tasks and assessing dental services. As a result of the grant work, there is a cohort of dental professionals and students in Virginia who are trained and committed to providing oral health care and education to adults with disabilities. In addition to building a workforce with the skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality oral care, VaOHC sought to engage new partners in the oral health network and raise awareness of oral health issues faced by the Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (Iw/DD) population to build a foundation that can advance future policy change. Partnerships forged with residential care facilities have resulted in increased awareness among care providers about the importance of consistent oral health care and the resources available to ensure that their clients can access dental services.   Final Report


Grant Title: Empowerment to Prevent Institutionalization (2013 – 2015)
Grantee: Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL) Website
Award Amount: $124,688   Match Amount: $45,597
Area of Emphasis: Formal/Informal Community Supports
Description: The purpose of the project was to provide education to medical and related healthcare professionals on services available to people with disabilities in order to better support those individuals in the community. It helped prevent the institutionalization of people with disabilities who experienced medical interventions, behavioral stress, or family changes that could result in the risk of placement in an institutional setting by Centers for Independent Living (CIL) training providers statewide. The grantee, VACIL, enlisted 10 local CILs from the rural areas (Eastern Short; Grundy and Norton, Southwest Virginia) and urban areas (Norfolk, Hampton, Fredericksburg, Roanoke, Winchester, and Richmond). In 2016, CIL advocates distributed resource directories to 2,104 individuals and diverse community groups organizations. In addition, 300 people with disabilities received support, including access to transportation and affordable housing. Over the course of the grant, 74 workshops were held across all ten CIL regions and 967 individuals were trained. This outcome far exceeded the estimated target for the grant.   Final Report