Proposals are due by August 1, 2022 at 4 p.m. (CT)
Conference Dates: January 24–26, 2023
Purpose: Provide a virtual forum for sharing innovative and creative solutions in vocational rehabilitation (VR) that are field initiated (frontline), improve the consumer VR experience, and result in high-quality employment outcomes.
Philosophy: Some of the most innovative and creative solutions come from professionals who work directly with consumers and recognize needs, opportunities, and new possibilities. This expo is designed to give frontline VR professionals a forum to share new ideas, innovative solutions, and creative projects with others in the field. It is also an opportunity to be inspired by peers to think differently, reconnect with creative abilities, and revitalize professional commitment by seeing the field from an exciting new perspective. The expo will be offered virtually on an annual basis to ensure the ability of all frontline staff to attend, participate, and be inspired.
Theme: Bright Ideas, Bright Future
Presenters: All staff and organizations – public, non-profit and for-profit - involved in services to VR clients are encouraged to submit a presentation proposal. This includes support staff, counselors, supervisors, district managers and senior managers/agency directors. Relevant organizations include State VR Agencies, Community Rehabilitation Programs, VR Service Providers, Independent Living Centers, Veterans Services, Health Care Providers, State Labor Agencies, Special Education Teachers, Adaptive Technology Specialists, American Job Centers, Private Companies, and others involved in helping people with disabilities to maximize their participation in the workforce.
Audience: The target audience for the expo includes staff members of Public VR Agencies, Community Rehabilitation Programs, VR Service Providers (non-profit and for-profit), Independent Living Centers, Veterans Services, Health Care Providers, State Labor Agencies, Special Education Programs, American Job Centers, Higher Education Institutions, Public and Private Funders, Community Partners, Private Businesses and others who want to learn about innovative solutions to help people with disabilities maximize their participation in the workforce.
The proposal should describe an innovative solution, activity, project, or program started within the presenter’s organization by one or more staff members. The innovative practice does not need to be evidence-based or backed by research, but it should have been in use for one year or more and have some proof of efficacy. The hope is to find grassroots problem-solving within organizations, including “crazy thoughts” that became successful new processes, approaches, or programs.
- The following types of innovative activities are of interest:
- New rehabilitation programs, services, or practices that improve the consumer experience and lead to high-quality career employment outcomes for adults and youth.
- Innovative pre-employment and comprehensive transition services, youth service programs, or practices that prepare youth and students with disabilities for workforce participation and career pathway advancement.
- Innovative self-employment projects, microenterprise incubators, or business start-up programs.
- Innovative supported employment, customized employment, progressive employment, or on-the-job training partnerships and programs.
- Innovative collaborative partnerships with non-traditional disability service partners that leverage alternative resources to meet vocational rehabilitation client needs.
- Innovative apprenticeship partnerships, business partnerships, career pathway programs, or industry-recognized credentialing projects.
- Innovations to processes, such as the application process, eligibility process, or plan development process, that enhance consumer engagement, consumer services, and consumer outcomes.
- Innovative technology solutions, applications, software, or website design that improve consumer engagement and access to case management systems and agency staff.
- New billing or payment processes that reduce overhead costs for the agency and Community Rehabilitation Programs, increase efficiencies, reduce consumer waiting times, or improve access to needed services.
- Innovative feedback systems, Client Advisory Councils, or real-time consumer satisfaction measurement systems.
- Innovative consumer education and information systems or practices that improve consumer understanding of rehabilitation services and engagement with rehabilitation services. This includes state, Veterans, and private rehabilitation programs.
- Remote counseling and service provision innovations, remote job interviews, phone apps, or client and/or vendor access to parts of the client case file.
- Innovative separation of duties, position realignment, or task realignment to improve efficiency and effectiveness of professional staff.
- Innovative management systems, internal control systems, strategic planning and performance management processes and tools, policy and procedure development and implementation projects, or program evaluation and quality assurance systems.
- Innovative human resource development (staff training) programs that address essential competencies and skills, enhance professionalism and professional commitment, improve agency performance, and create career advancement or succession planning pathways.
- All other innovative or creative solutions that help people with disabilities maximize their participation in the workforce.
- The expo will focus on peer-to-peer learning presentations and interactive discussion groups among peers.
- All presentations will be prerecorded. The selected presentations will be available 24/7 for the conference and for several weeks after the end of the conference.
- There will be scheduled Live Discussion sessions with selected presentations. For selected presentations, the members of the presentation will be present to answer questions during the Live Discussion.
- All material contained in a presentation or as separate handouts must be available for conference attendees to download and use at their discretion. No presentations which contain proprietary materials will be allowed. No presentations which appear to the review committee to be ads for a presenter’s product will be allowed.
- If a potential presenter considers this an opportunity to show a new product to potential customers, we recommend purchasing a sponsorship to the conference and showcase their product(s) in the vendor hall. Sponsorship Opportunity
Proposal Submission and Deadline:
Proposals must be submitted online. The form can be found at Request for Proposal If there is any difficulty accessing the form, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals are due by July 1, 2022, at 4 p.m. (CT).
The Innovation Inspiration Expo and SVRI require that all proposals be reviewed and approved by the leadership of the potential presenter’s organization prior to submission.
Questions and/or Assistance Preparing the Proposal:
The goal is to secure a broad range of presenters and topics for this expo. The expo committee is especially interested in examples of innovative strategies, solutions, projects, and programs that were created by or in collaboration with marginalized communities and/or with underserved or unserved populations that meet the needs of people with the most significant disabilities.
For questions about this Request for Proposals or assistance preparing the proposal, email email@example.com.