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.

New Executive Director - Kyle J. Walker, MRC, CRC, CPM

Kyle has accepted the position of Executive Director of SVRI, starting February 4, 2019.

Collaborations and Partnerships

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

1960’s: Vocational rehabilitation at UW-Stout began with a planning grant to establish a graduate program. The first master degree students graduated in 1968. In the same year, a vocational rehabilitation facility named the Evaluation and Training Center was established 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.

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. The new facility included a residence hall that was attached to the vocational rehabilitation building by an accessible skyway.

1990’s: To fulfill our mission, the Continuing Education Center (CEC) was founded in 1996 to focus on training with community-based rehabilitation program personnel.

2000’s: Under the leadership of the current executive director, John Lui, SVRI’s programs were realigned by function. The same basic functions of training, research, and service are still carried out at SVRI but now under the titles 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 was developed to meet the changing needs of people with disabilities. In addition, online training is a new focus to provide professional development opportunities to rehabilitation professionals across the United States. Demand-side rehabilitation is another focus of the institute with the development of WorkSource Wisconsin and a research partnership with the University of Wisconsin – Madison.