Services for the Aging
Aging services help Virginians find the information and services they need to lead healthy and independent lives as they grow older. The mission is to foster the dignity, independence, and security of older Virginians by promoting partnerships with families and communities. The Virginia Division for the Aging (VDA) works with 25 local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) as well as various other public and private organizations to help older Virginians, their families and loved ones find the services and information they need. The division is a central point of contact for information and services. The Division for the Aging is designated by the federal government as the agency to oversee all state programs using funds provided by the federal Older Americans Act and the Virginia General Assembly. Area Agencies on Aging contract with the division to provide services for older Virginians and their families in communities throughout Virginia.
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman oversees the Commonwealth's advocates for older persons receiving long term care services, whether the care is provided in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or through community-based services to assist persons still living at home. It provides older Virginians, their families and the public with information, advocacy, and assistance to help resolve care problems. The Adult Protective Services Division investigates reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults 60 years of age or older and incapacitated adults age 18 or older. If protective services are needed and accepted by the individual, local family services specialists may arrange for a wide variety of health, housing, social and legal services to stop the mistreatment or prevent further mistreatment.
Services for People with Disabilities
Employment Services help people with disabilities get ready for, find, and keep a job. We have a residential training and medical rehabilitation center known as Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center as well as field offices located across Virginia. The Agency also partners with a network of community rehabilitation providers, also known as Employment Services Organizations. These organizations provide Employment and Vocational Services throughout the state. For students with disabilities moving from high school to further education, work or independence, DARS collaborates with schools in providing Transition Services. DARS also works with federally funded One Stop Centers to provide workforce services to persons with disabilities.
In Virginia, eight state agencies, including DARS, are committed to supporting a career pathways approach to building Virginia's workforce. These agencies oversee 24 programs that provide assistance to businesses seeking quality employees and deliver a variety of education, training, and support programs for youth and adults. Learn more about the Virginia Workforce System through the publication, How is Workforce Development Delivered In Virginia?
Community Based Services
The DARS Community Based Services Division administers several programs that support individuals with significant disabilities to maximize their independence, employment, and full inclusion into society. Individuals do not have to be recipients of Vocational Rehabilitation services to be eligible for the CBS Division programs which include Brain Injury Services Coordination; Community Rehabilitation Case Management Services; Independent Living Services, Personal Assistance Services.
Assistive Technology / Devices and Equipment
Assistive Technology Services directly assist individuals with disabilities in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. An assistive technology device is defined as any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Disability Determination Services process disability claims for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Disability Programs.