Research and Innovation

We strive to maintain our position at the forefront of vocational rehabilitation research and advancement.
In this Section

SVRI has an established history of conducting independent and collaborative applied research in the areas of disability and employment.  Current studies focus on knowledge translation (i.e. "research-to-practice"), health and employment, vocational rehabilitation systems, youth in transition, benefits counseling, asset development and poverty, and employment issues experienced by individuals with significant disabilities.


Project E3TC Logo

Project E3 is the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities. We work with state vocational rehabilitation agencies and their partners across the United States to help people with disabilities from underserved communities achieve their independent living and employment goals.

Project E3  is designed to improve employment outcomes of persons with disabilities from traditionally marginalized communities.

The Project E3 Team will provide intensive and focused technical assistance to all 80 State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation agencies and 20 targeted communities across the U.S. and its territories.

The anticipated outcome will increase vocational rehabilitation participation of persons with disabilities from these targeted communities leading to greater quality employment outcomes.

This national project is a collaboration of Southern University Baton Rouge, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Stout, University of Kentucky, George Washington University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI) and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR). More about this collaboration


PeqaTac Logo 

The Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance (SVRI-PEQA) is housed in University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI), in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Program Collaborators
The SVRI-PEQA is directed by Dr. Cayte Anderson (Principal Investigator), Mary McManus (Co-PI); and involves key partners including Drs. Fong Chan and Tim Tansey (UW-Madison); Drs. Mike Leahy and Su Pi (Michigan State University), CSAVR, and the Summit Group

Project Goals

  • Improve - Define and develop initiatives that will improve the quality of employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

  • Innovate - Adopt organizational innovations.

  • Integrate - Evidence-based Practice (EBP) and program evaluation methods

  • Identify - Harness advances in IT and communication technologies.

Outcomes & Impacts

  • Community of Practice - Successful development and implementation of a state VR evaluator driven CoP PEQA to improve communication, information exchange, and training for program evaluators.

  • Training & Technical Assistance - Provide ample specialized training opportunities based on expressed needs of state VR.

  • Collaborations - Successfully develop inter-agency collaboration networks and work teams committed to the improvement of quality assurance systems and tools.

Achieving the goals and objectives of the SVRI-PEQA will increase the capacity and sophistication of state VR program evaluators to provide timely and relevant program evaluation data.

This data will help state VR agencies develop new competencies capable of responding in new and different ways to create and deliver outcomes in a challenging economy.


Wisconsin Promise logo




Wisconsin PROMISE - Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income)

Wisconsin is one of six sites participating in the U.S. Department of Education's demonstration of a promising path to success for youth receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), funded by a $32.5 million grand for 5 year demonstration. PROMISE is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor. The goals of PROMISE are to improve the provision and coordination of services and supports for youth receiving SSI and their families. The services help youth recipients achieve better outcomes, including graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing post-secondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting. SVRI will help recruit participants and help them enroll in DVR services. Services will include career exploration, community work experience, financial literacy training, social and soft skills training, and family training on employment expectations. 

  • Consumer Evaluations 
  • Needs Assessments
  • Program Evaluation