The Virginians with Disabilities Act § 51.5-33 directs the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD), beginning July 1, 2017, to submit an annual report to the Governor, through the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, that provides an in-depth assessment of at least two major service areas for people with disabilities in the Commonwealth. In June 2017, the Board determined that the 2018 focus would be on the housing and transportation of individuals with disabilities as related to programs and services operated, licensed, administered, or funded by the Commonwealth. The 2019 Assessments will cover the areas of Community Supports, Early Intervention, and Institutional Supports.
|For many years, Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families have reported difficulty finding, understanding and using information related to community services and supports.
Challenges faced by people seeking information are compounded by the complexity of the service delivery system and the fragmentation of sources of information. Federally funded, state administered services rely on established Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS) and Community Services Boards/Behavioral Health Authorities, referred to as CSBs throughout this assessment, to distribute and maintain current information.
The assessment identified four areas in which improvements could result in increased access to useful information for people with I/DD and their families.
|The “School to Prison Pipeline" describes how students who are punished for behavior by removal from the classroom (exclusionary discipline) are more likely to become involved in the juvenile or adult criminal justice systems. Nationally and in Virginia, students with disabilities, and particularly, Black students with disabilities, are over-represented in three key points of the school to prison pipeline: exclusionary discipline, referrals to law enforcement and sentencing to juvenile correctional centers.
Virginia has taken positive steps to reduce the use of suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to law enforcement for misdemeanor-level, school-based conduct. While progress has been made, the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities conducted a review of national best practices and Virginia’s discipline data, and the Board notes key findings and makes 13 recommendations to eliminate discipline disparities and end the school to prison pipeline.
|Over the past decade, Virginia has focused on transitioning people with disabilities from institutions to home- and community-based settings. The U.S. Department of Justice concluded an investigation in 2011 that found that “the Commonwealth fails to provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs as required by the ADA and Olmstead.” The Commonwealth has since closed most of its state-operated ICF/IIDs, also known as Training Centers. However, one Training Center and all other ICF/IIDs will remain open. It is important that the Commonwealth focus on ensuring the well-being of those who remain in these institutions.
Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
|Data, research, and feedback from people with disabilities and other stakeholders consistently show that the new residential and day services of waiver redesign, as well as opportunities for competitive integrated employment, are fraught with provider capacity issues, individual access and choice issues, and general confusion about the new services and how they operate.|
|The Early Intervention program provides services and supports to infants and toddlers with developmental delays and their families. Virginia’s Early Intervention program has insufficient resources, despite some significant investment by the General Assembly in recent years. The number of infants and toddlers served by the Early Intervention program is growing faster than the program’s funding and all indication is that growth will continue.||Infographic Summary|
|Continuing discrimination, both overt and subtle, prevents many people with disabilities from accessing important community resources, facilities, and services. Community Living is about more than just place. Being in the community is an important aspect of Community Living, but equally important is the capacity to be a participatory member of one’s community and to exercise control over one’s own life to the maximum extent possible. Restrictive guardianship practices, and other policies and practices that presumptively deny people with disabilities the ability to control their own lives, are barriers to full community participation.||Infographic Summary|
|The 2018 Assessment of housing is intended to serve as a guide for policymakers who are interested in improving the affordability, accessibility, and quality of housing for people with disabilities in Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia has made significant progress in improving the living situations of people with developmental disabilities in recent years. Fewer people with developmental disabilities reside in large segregated facilities today than did in the recent past. However, people with disabilities continue to face multiple barriers to accessing independent housing options including affordability, discrimination, and physical accessibility.||Infographic Summary|
|Demand for alternatives to personal automobile transportation, which many people with disabilities and the elderly are unable to access, currently exceeds available resources. Virginia’s human services and transportation providers identified several transportation challenges in a recent survey by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, including funding limitations, the need for improved transportation coordination, physically inaccessible transportation services, and limited transportation options, particularly in rural regions.||Infographic Summary|
|The 2017 Assessment of education services and outcomes is intended to serve as a guide for policymakers who are interested in improving the education of students with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.Virginia's educational outcomes for students with disabilities have improved in some respects. The proficiency rates of students with disabilities in the Commonwealth, as measured on standardized assessments, have been slowly, but measurably, improving in recent years. Many students with disabilities are also spending more of their school day in general education classrooms. However, opportunities remain to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
VBPD 2017 Assessment of Virginia's Disability Services System - Education
|People with disabilities continue to face multiple barriers to employment, including employer beliefs, negative attitudes towards people with disabilities, a lack of post-secondary education and training opportunities, and fear of losing critical public benefits. These barriers are compounded in rural and underserved regions of the Commonwealth, where employment opportunities and access to employment supports are limited. Individuals with disabilities who have access to vocational rehabilitation services have better employment outcomes than those individuals with disabilities who do not have access to these services, and vocational rehabilitation services yield positive returns on investment for the Commonwealth.
VBPD 2017 Assessment of Virginia's Disability Services System - Employment
Volume 1 - Key Findings and Recommendations
There are several significant format and content changes in this edition. A key change is the separation of the Assessment into two volumes.
Volume 1 (67 pages, August 2014) includes the Board’s Key Findings and Recommendations.
Volume 1: Key Findings and Board Recommendations
The detailed Volume 2 (500 pages) contains data on the specific services and supports reviewed that, in addition to public comment, are the basis for the findings and recommendations. These are designed to be companion documents.
Updated Edition (October 2014) Now Available
If you received a hard copy or CD containing Volume 2 of the 2014 Assessment of the Disability Services System in Virginia, you'll want to replace the August 2014 version with the October 2014 edition. Why? After its release, the Board found a number of typographical and calculation errors in several charts. These errors have been corrected in the October 2014 release.
None of the errors affected Volume 1, Key Findings and Board Recommendations, dated August 2014. Board findings were based on data analysis and research. We regret the errors, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause readers of this essential resource for people with disabilities, their families, care providers, policymakers, and constituents.
The Assessment’s chapters are organized by the core categories of services/supports needed by Virginians with developmental and related disabilities across the lifespan. References are included at the end of each chapter. Information on statewide advocacy groups is provided in Appendix A, and information on preparing for emergencies is contained in Appendix B. The 2014 Assessment describes disability services and supports that are primarily funded, operated, licensed, regulated, or contracted by state agencies.
Download Volume 1: Key Findings and Board Recommendations
You may download Volume 2 of the Assessment as a single PDF, or you may download each section individually.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
Chapter I – Early Intervention
Chapter II – Education
Chapter III – Employment
Chapter IV – Health Care
Chapter V – Medicaid
Chapter VI – Community Living Supports
Chapter VII – Institutional Supports
Chapter VIII – Community Housing
Chapter IX – Transportation
Appendix A. Statewide Information and Advocacy Resources
Appendix B. Emergency Preparedness
Appendix C. Acronyms
Board Membership and Staff Contacts