Presidential Pondering

by Marjorie Millner

Summer has faded, and Fall is emerging with warm colorful leaves. Much like these Fall leaves, VRA has demonstrated warmth and color through the many accomplishments occurring through this third quarter! As I reflect on the VRA activities below, I am filled with pride and reminded of the reason I am dedicated and passionate about this field.

Our annual Collaborations Conference was held at the Norfolk Sheraton from September 10, 2017 through September 12, 2017. This conference is jointly sponsored each year by VRA, VA-APSE, and Virginia ACCSES. At this event, we celebrated twenty years of collaboration, while leaders in the field shared their vision and knowledge, aiding to guide us towards the future in vocational rehabilitation.

The VRA Golf Tournament was another great success this year. This tournament, hosted at Stonehenge Golf and Country Club on October 23, 2017, fostered comradery and a good time for all. A special thank you goes to Kim Shepard, Golf Tournament Chair.

The VRA Gives Back – Special Projects committee, chaired by Lisa Biler, continues in the mission of endorsing VRA’s mission. Our second 2017 recipient, REACHcycles, was honored with our $500.00 donation during their celebratory event at ARCpark in Richmond on August 5, 2017. At this event, REACHcycles presented 22 specially adapted donated three-wheeler cycles (AmTrykes) to area children with disabilities who had been pre-selected by REACHcycles based on desire and need. Let it be noted that the VRA Gives Back – Special Projects was highlighted in the NRA’s Contemporary Rehab Publication nationwide. Go Virginia Rehabilitation Association!

Legislative involvement for VRA has had a focus on surveying membership on advocacy issues, monitoring the need for increased state general funding for VR match, and raising interest in advocacy among members.

Sue Collins has worked diligently to enhance and improve our VRA website. Please take time to check out our updated page. Thanks to Sue for bringing VRA forward in this endeavor.

In closing, Dawn Scott has worked tirelessly to improve VRA membership and communications efforts. Through increased email blasts, Newsnotes and Facebook, VRA members are kept current on events with ease of access. VRA could not have come this far without you Dawn! VRA meetings are now offered via VTC and Conference Call modalities to increase accessibility and member involvement.

Each of these committee accomplishments have made up for a Fall abundance of warmth and color. There are so many good things happening with VRA right now. Please consider joining us for our next board meeting on December 8, 2017 from 10:00 AM-12:00PM at the DARS Central Office. Conference Call and VTC options are available for those who don’t want to travel. We look forward to your participation!

--Submitted by Marjorie Millner