Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute

SVRI provides solutions to positively impact the future of people with disabilities and others in the community through services, training, and research.
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The Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI) serves as a leader to advance innovative programs and practice in disability and employment through partnerships in research, training, education, and services. It strives to be the premier resource for state-of-the-art knowledge, innovation, and services to positively impact people's health, employment, and economic stability. 

SVRI is located at the University of Wisconsin–Stout in Menomonie and provides solutions to positively impact the future of persons with disabilities and others in the community through services, training, and research.


Attend the Innovation Inspiration Expo

January 24-26, 2022 - An opportunity to learn and share unique strategies or inventive programs with your VR colleauges!

National Training Center

National Training Center for Transformational Rehabilitation Leadership

Collaborations and Partnerships

SVRI generates over $4 million dollars annually through grants, contracts, and other federal and state partnerships.
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M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling

Do you enjoy helping people reach their full potential?
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National Training Center

A leadership training program resulting in a nationally recognized professional credential for leaders

UW-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute Project SEARCH

Program will provide career exploration to young adults with disabilities

Encorpe and SVRI Partner

Encorpe, Inc. (Encorpe) announced a strategic partnership with the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI)
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Our Code of Ethics
  1. Individualized service programs, based on participants’ informed choice, are developed to meet their unique needs, desires and situations.
  2. Any conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof, are avoided.
  3. Programs of SVRI encourage and empower persons with disabilities to achieve independence.
  4. All SVRI staff adhere to their respective professional code of ethics. Activities of SVRI are performed with professionalism, honesty and fairness in a caring, empathetic manner.
  5. The capacities of SVRI are enhanced through collaborative relationships and partnerships.
  6. SVRI includes diverse populations and underserved groups in their programs.
  7. SVRI provides leadership to the fields of vocational rehabilitation and other professions it interacts with.
  8. Training and teaching efforts of SVRI utilize an applied learning model to enhance the applicability of the curriculum.
  9. SVRI’s goal of providing innovative services, research and publications is supported through continuous quality improvement and program development processes.
  10. SVRI works to secure consistent and quality results.
History of SVRI

SVRI has a long history of service and innovation, funded primarily through national grants and contracts for services. This brief history demonstrates the ebb and flow of innovative services and research efforts as well as the need for grant and contract funding to drive innovation.

1960’s: Vocational rehabilitation at UW-Stout began with a planning grant to establish a graduate program, developed in large part by Dr. Paul Hoffman. The first master’s degree students graduated in 1968. In the same year, a vocational rehabilitation facility named the Evaluation and Training Center was established by Hoffman and colleagues to provide direct services to persons with disabilities and to serve as a clinical training site for students. In 1969 the Materials Development Center was created to disseminate information and publications. With the onset of online materials availability in the 1990’s, the Center’s work focus shifted away from hard copy resources.

1970’s: The Evaluation and Training Center was renamed the Vocational Development Center or VDC in 1973. The Research and Training Center was added in 1972 to provide research and development capabilities to the Institute.

1980’s: The VDC added a Program for Independent Living and Projects with Industry to its core services in the early 1980s. In the mid-1980s, the Center for Rehabilitation Technology was established to further enhance new services and capabilities to the Institute. In 1983, all of the programs of the VDC were consolidated in a newly renovated facility located in the center of campus. This facility formerly housed the campus Library. The new facility included use of a section of a residence hall. The residence hall was (and still is) attached to the vocational rehabilitation building by an accessible skyway.

1990’s: To fulfill SVRI’s mission, the Continuing Education Center (CEC) was founded in 1996 to focus on training with community-based rehabilitation program personnel. This particular model of service is not currently in use. It was at the end of this decade that John Wesolek, long-time Executive Director of SVRI, assumed the role of Dean of the College.

2000’s: Under the new leadership of then-executive director, John Lui, SVRI’s programs were realigned by function to become of SVRI-Training, SVRI-Research, and SVRI-Services. Additional 
collaborations and partnerships were developed with the Department of Health Services (DHFS), among many others. New programming including a Transition Partnership School, sensory (deaf/blind) services, benefits analysis, and individualized vocational evaluation services.  These services were developed to meet the changing needs of people with disabilities. Online training became a new focus to provide professional development opportunities to rehabilitation professionals across the United States, as part of the RRTC (Rehab and Research Training Center) .

2010’s: Demand-side rehabilitation became another focus of the institute with the development of WorkSource Wisconsin and research partnerships with the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In 2014, Dr. Cayte Anderson became the Executive Director of SVRI. This decade also saw the rapid growth of grant-driven projects: Wisconsin PROMISE, a model demonstration grant of the U.S. Department of Education (OSEP), was awarded to the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. SVRI is a significant partner in the leadership of the effort as well as in training and evaluation. Two collaborative Technical Assistance grants were awarded to SVRI. The PEQA-TAC (Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance), awarded by the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration was designed to aid state agencies in the engagement of program evaluation to meet the reporting needs of WIOA. VRTAC-TC Project E3, of which SVRI is a sub-awardee, is focused in 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.  Further contracts with the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation have launched two service lines, one in management of the Eligibility and Order of Selection data collection process, and the other in development of services provided by Self-Employment Outreach Specialists, located at three sites in Wisconsin. In 2019, Kyle Walker became the fifth Executive Director of SVRI, and the university FABLAB opened in the Vocational Rehabilitation building in the site of the former SVRI “shop” (short for workshop). SVRI Assistive Technology and Services staff will work in close alignment with the FABLAB staff to continue provision of services to consumers and referral sources.

2020-What lies ahead? The next decade is already showing evidence of SVRI’s continuing plans for collaboration in research and in technical assistance projects, for improvement and enhancement of Services, and for growth in provision of innovative training topics to meet the needs of an ever-changing society.

VISION: SVRI will be the premiere resource for state-of-the-art knowledge and innovative services and programs to positively impact people’s lives.

MISSION: SVRI provides solutions to positively impact the future of persons with disabilities and others in the community through education, research and services.

CORE VALUES: Professionalism, Authenticity, Inclusion, Innovation.

                                                                                                                                                                                            (svri 2019)