RCAAS Launches Training Partnership with NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS)

Mar, 2020

The Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) will be partnering with the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) to provide training for all DVRS counselors working with individuals with autism at three strategic geographic locations (north, central, south) throughout the state. Vanessa Bal, Ph.D., Associate Professor and GSAPP’s Karmazin-Lillard Endowed Chair in Adult Autism, Robert LaRue, Ph.D., BCBA-D, GSAPP Clinical Professor, and Christopher Manente, Ph.D., BCBA, Founding Executive Director of RCAAS, will be facilitating the training. The six-hour training will be broken up into two, three-hour sessions, with 40 DVRS counselors per session. A total of six training sessions over the three training locations will take place from May 27th to June 25th. 

The first session will focus on the manifestation of ASD in adults and the importance of assessment of strengths and challenges. A comprehensive assessment at the outset of employment planning is critical to understanding each individual's skill profile and informing both expectations and the need for supports. Many adults with autism have not had comprehensive assessments since their initial diagnosis in childhood, therefore, there are few sources of standardized information that can be used to obtain a picture of the individual’s needs and strengths that may be critical to finding and maintaining appropriate employment. 

The second session will focus on providing an overview of potential barriers to community-based employment for adults with autism and strategies for encouraging successful employment outcomes through evidenced-based approaches for instruction, the reduction of challenging behavior, and on-the-job support. Specifically, this portion of the workshop will highlight strategies for job identification and matching, the design of meaningful vocational skill acquisition programming, addressing issues related to problem behavior, data-based progress monitoring in the workplace, and procedures for systematically fading supports over time. 

For more information about RCAAS, visit

To learn more about NJ DVRS, visit here.


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