National & State Scan: Virginia

  • The lead agency in with oversight of policy and services for children and youth with an ASD is the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Office of Developmental Services; other state agencies contributing to the work and services include the Department of Education Division of Special Education and Student Services, and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.
  • State-level commission or workgroup pertaining to ASDs: the Advisory Consortium on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities serves in an advisory capacity to state agencies on issues regarding policy, services and supports for persons with developmental disabilities in the state; the Council for Exceptional Children is a longstanding entity that has been active since 1958 – providing local resources for teachers, administrators, parents and other special education professionals; the Community Integration Advisory Commission exists to monitor the implementation of state and federal laws concerning community integration of individuals with disabilities, including barriers or challenges to full community integration. The Commission reports its recommendations to the Governor; the Board for People with Disabilities serves as the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, addressing the needs of people with developmental disabilities. It has been an executive branch state agency located within the Secretariat of Health and Human Resources and has autonomy over the use of its federal funding and the hiring of its staff. The Board advises the Governor, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, federal and state legislators, and other constituent groups on issues related to people with disabilities in the state
  • Notable state-level transition-related activities specific to students with disabilities include: I’m Determined through the Department of Education is a well-reputed self-determination project for individuals with disabilities that includes a transition guide for independent living, employment and postsecondary education; the Virginia Intercommunity Transition Council provides numerous factsheets and coordinates a transition community of practice; the Northern Virginia Transition Coalition is comprised of representatives from multiple school systems, colleges, and agencies that work with young people with disabilities. It promotes a bi-annual college and career fair “Future Quest” that brings together speakers, vendors, and state-agencies that interface on transition issues
  • Unique resources within the state for individuals with an ASD include: Virginia Autism Council is a clearinghouse on education and training opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. It is comprised of local professionals and experts in Autism and provide trainings that touch on transition; Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia (POAC) Serves as a clearinghouse for research-based methodologies for instructing students on the autism spectrum, trains public and private school educators and parents on research-based instructional methodologies, and advocates for improvements in the services delivered to students on the autism spectrum
  • The percentage of youth with special health care needs who received the services necessary to make transitions to all aspects of adult life, including adult health care, work, and independence, as reported in 2009/10 for VA, 49% (n=325)