Episode 121 VR Workforce Studio

Journey of a peer recovery specialist

National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials

NCRTM Curated List Featuring Braille Training Products – NCRTM partnered with the Rehabilitation Services Administration’s (RSA) Braille Training grantees to create a curated list and Highlights document. The curated list features products including trainings, learning exercises, and other resources resulting from the Braille Training projects. The highlights document provides a concise overview of the program’s key components and accomplishments.

NCRTM Curated List Video Tutorial – This video introduces curated lists and demonstrates how to locate and navigate NCRTM’s collection of curated lists. The video provides a step-by-step guide, ensuring that you can easily access and explore the curated lists to find the resources most relevant to you.

Quick Tips for Improving the Accessibility of Microsoft (MS) Word Documents Video – This video provides quick tips for improving the accessibility of MS Word documents and is a helpful starting point for those new to MS Word accessibility.


VR Workforce Singers:  VR Workforce Studio.

Bently Wood:  You know, I look back on my life and I can’t even imagine. There were days that I wouldn’t have believed that this would be true of my life if you’ve told me.

Jake Hart:  Four, three, two, one. VR Workforce Studio, podcasting the sparks that ignite vocational rehabilitation through the inspiring stories of people with disabilities who have gone to work.

Flora Frazier:  Working in a field that I understand.

Jake Hart:  As well as the professionals who have helped them.

James Hall:  A job and a career, you got to look at how life-changing this is.

Jake Hart:  And the businesses who have filled their talent pipelines with workers that happen to have disabilities.

Debby Hopkins:  To help expand registered apprenticeship.

Jake Hart:  These are their stories.

Megan Healy:  Because there’s such a great story to tell about people with disabilities.

Jake Hart:  Now, here are the hosts of the VR Workforce Studio, Rick Sizemore and Betsy Civilette.

Rick Sizemore:  We welcome back Bently Wood, Region 4 Lead Peer Recovery Specialist Coordinator, for the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. The Region 4 Programs office manages and oversees initiatives that serve individuals of the regional Community Service Boards and affiliated state psychiatric facilities like Central State and Piedmont Geriatric Hospital. Welcome back, Bently!

Bently Wood:  Thank you, Rick! I’m really excited to be here. It, it feels like it was just yesterday, but it’s really been a little more than that, hasn’t it?

Rick Sizemore:  Yeah! Couple, couple years!

Betsy Civilette:  Couple years. Um, but if you’re now just joining us for the first time and you’ve not heard Bently’s story, check out our episode from February 2020 on vrworkforcestudio.com called, “Hope After Lockup.” Well, Bently, we welcome you back today, to talk about the extraordinary way your career has evolved since we last talked when you were a Peer Recovery Support Specialist in the New River Valley. So, tell us where you are now and what you’re doing.

Bently Wood:  Late January of 2022, I took a job with Richmond Behavioral Health supporting the peers and the peer workforce development in Region 4. So, today I live in downtown Richmond, which I love. What I get to do is the most exciting piece. Um, I work with a colleague with, around the development of the peer workforce within the seven Community Service Boards. Currently, we have about 90 peers within those seven boards. We also work with community stakeholders and partners, which are folks who are not within the CSBs but support the recovery community in some way within the Region 4 community. We do between 12 and 15 trainings a year. Anything from the 10-day PRS 72-hour training to one-day trainings, two-day trainings in curriculum like Emotional CPR, Certified Personal Medicine Coaching, Ethical Decision-making, PRS exam prep, Peer Documentation Training, and currently I’m attending a, an ACE Interface Presenter Training. Which I’m really excited to get a deep dive and better understanding of ACEs. I currently serve as the Board President for VOCAL Virginia and I recently finished a year as a co-chair of the PRS Stakeholder Roundtable. Which is a statewide peer organization. And a 2021 graduate of the Recovery Leadership Academy, which was a joint project between the Office of Recovery Services at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and VCU.

Rick Sizemore:  You have such an incredible backstory, Betsy’s told our listeners where they can find that, but you have that lived experience and moved into becoming a Recovery Specialist yourself. But now, you are helping to support an entire team of specialists. How does it make you feel to have made such strides in really just a couple of years?

Bently Wood:  Some days it’s, it’s um, a little bit overwhelming. Imposter Syndrome still occasionally sneaks in. But mostly I’m just proud and honored to have the opportunity to share what I know with both, not just the peers and the individuals who want to work with peers, but also the supervisors and leadership teams within the Community Service Boards, to be able to advocate for additional peer support specialists. To be able to help them understand the role and the uniqueness of it within the service delivery structure within our Community Service Boards. So, yeah, it’s, it’s, I get to do a lot of awesome stuff today.

Rick Sizemore:  It’s gotta feel good.

Bently Wood:  It does. It feels great.

Betsy Civilette:  What is your message to people who want to work as Peer Recovery Specialists, especially those going through the grueling 500-hour training that’s required to become certified?

Bently Wood:  Once they take the class and then they have to get 500 hours of experience working in the capacity as a peer specialist, and, you know, we run a Peer Academy here, which is a paid internship program for individuals to be able to get their 500 hours. They work with a mentor in a structured program and unfortunately, that’s not, there are very few of those around.

Betsy Civilette:  Mm-hmm.

Bently Wood:  So, if one can’t find something like that, don’t give up. Check Indeed, check the Virginia Peer Recovery Specialists Network job board, talk to friends, and be open to doing what needs to be done. You know, I got hired by a, an agency before I became certified. So, I was able to get my 500 hours being supervised by someone and working under, you know, in an environment where I was able to work and learn the, the role of a Peer Recovery Specialist. So, I, I would say don’t, don’t eliminate possibilities, you may have to do something you don’t want to do. But it’s an investment in the future. You know, Peer Recovery Specialists, we’re not going away. It’s a growing workforce, there are career paths, the ladders being built within organizations. So, don’t give up.

Betsy Civilette:  It’s an extremely important field, mental health, awareness has, has increased for, you know, for good. In terms of places that may be getting more people to come forward and be Peer Recovery Specialists.

Bently Wood:  Mm-hmm.

Rick Sizemore:  We, we had planned to ask you what your advice is to those in recovery, just in a general sense. But you now are co-author of a new book, so maybe we’ll pose that question within the context of, tell us about your book and your message to those in recovery.

Bently Wood:  So, the book is entitled, “The Secret Dao of Art: Meditations on a Philosophy of Life”, and the book is a story written from the perspective of a, an artist father to a child. And this story goes through the life of the father and talks about many traumatic events that occurred with the child between the father and the child. And I remember being approached and I was asked if I would be interested in writing commentary, and of course, at first, my thought is, “Who am I? Why would they ask me to do that?” But after reading the book, it, it had an impact on me that I didn’t expect and one of the concepts that’s, that’s in that book is Tíng. And Tíng is the Chinese character for; to listening, to see, the heart, eyes, to where it is one word that describes the connection that Peer Recovery Specialists offer and so I’m able to share some of my recovery journey as it relates to how I connect with the stories within the book. And I’m really honored and very proud of, of the work that’s been done on that.

Rick Sizemore:  Yeah. We’ll be sure to include your contact information and information about the book in the show notes to this episode.

Bently Wood:  That would be awesome and, you know, I look back on my life and I can’t even imagine. There were days that I wouldn’t have believed that this would be true of my life if you’ve told me.

Rick Sizemore:  Yeah, well…

Bently Wood:  So…

Rick Sizemore:  As we finish up, what reflections do you have on how vocational rehabilitation helped you in your career?

Bently Wood:  I wouldn’t be here today without it. There were, you know, when I first got the job, I was working with my case manager, who by the way, I still have a relationship with, we still keep in touch, and even though I’ve been out of services for more than three years. And, um, you know, they help me get clothes that I needed because I couldn’t afford to buy clothes, you know, early in recovery, money’s something we don’t have. I was able to get gas cards in order to make sure that I was able to get to work. There were days I would not have made it to work because I didn’t have the money or the gas to get there. So, um, and the, the emotional support and the just, just, just the encouragement that I received from Hope, which interestingly enough was the, you know, is the name of the of, of my case manager from DARS and I don’t believe I’d be where I am today if it weren’t for vocational rehabilitation and the support at DARS.

Rick Sizemore:  That’s what we’re all about and vocational rehabilitation has extended opportunities to many across this country, you are one of those people who’ve taken those opportunities to heart and excelled in your career. We couldn’t be happier for you. Thank you for joining us on today’s podcast.

Betsy Civilette:  Yeah, thank you Bently.

Bently Wood:  You’re welcome. Thank you, and I’m honored to be here.

Rick Sizemore:  Bently Wood is a Recovery Specialist Coordinator and comes to us today from Richmond, Virginia. Coming up in today’s show, we’ll talk more about how you could learn to become a Peer Recovery Specialist, and we’ll explore how Industry Intermediaries work to bridge the gap for people with disabilities who are looking to get into the workforce. But now, our good friend, Erik K. Johnson, nationally recognized podcast talent coach, whose been with us since back in 2015 when we started the VR Workforce Studio. Erik joins us now with some exciting news. Welcome, Erik!

Erik K. Johnson:  Hey, Rick and Betsy, congratulations to you and to Commissioner Hayfield, on the VR Workforce Studio being included in the White House Disability Forum. That is so amazing. It’s also fantastic to see your podcast reaching so many people nationally, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rehab Act. So proud of all you’ve been able to accomplish over there with the show. Congratulations, keep up the great work. I also wanted to let you know that it is officially launched, it’s, “The Game Changer,” inspirational stories that changed lives. I am truly honored to be one of 27 authors in this book. Each of us share an amazing story of an event that happened in our lives that through the choices that we’ve made, have changed our lives forever. The title of my chapter is called, “The Turning Point.” It’s the story of my mom and how she influenced me on my journey. It’s pretty powerful, I’m pretty proud of it and it’s… Stories are such a strong force in our lives, they’re such an impact on our world when we share our stories. You can see 27 of them inside, “The Game Changer,” book. You can get the book at podcasttalentcoach.com/gamechanger. “The Game Changer” book series is a collection of these behind-the-scenes stories. They’re, they’re stories that most people never realize have laid the foundation for a successful business or successful company or a successful journey. They’re stories that are personal, they’re connected to the authors’ hearts, and many of them are being shared for the first time with readers like you. So, I truly believe that you will enjoy all of the stories in this book, not just mine, but the, the 26 others, they’re so powerful. You can get the book at podcasttalentcoach.com/gamechanger. Get over and check it out and see if it, it makes sense for you. And again, congratulations, Rick and Betsy, and to everyone involved there in the VR Workforce Studio Podcast, for all you’ve been able to accomplish, but more importantly, for all of the lives that you’ve been able to positively impact. Congratulations and keep up the great work.

Rick Sizemore:  Today we welcome, Bobby Keener, the CEO of CivilianCyber. Bobby is an Industry Intermediary, that’s helping bridge the gap for people with disabilities who are training to become Peer Recovery Specialists.

Betsy Civilette:  Well, welcome to the podcast, Bobby. It’s nice to have you on today’s show.

Bobby Keener:  Nice to be here.

Betsy Civilette:  First, give us an overview of CivilianCyber and the work you are involved with, and maybe touch on what a Peer Recovery Specialist does.

Bobby Keener:  Yeah, sure. So, CivilianCyber, we’ve, were founded about three and a half years ago. And as the name kind of sounds like, CivilianCyber really had a cybersecurity focus when we first came out. A friend of ours and I were serving on the VCU Cybersecurity Center Board and we realized that such a huge gap existed for those folks, that when we left we said, “Well, hey, let’s figure out how to create these.” Because we, we firmly believe that if folks are given the opportunity and they’re given support to take advantage of that opportunity, they can do almost anything. So, we started out with cybersecurity but we quickly realized, “Hey, look, you know, there are openings all over the place that people need to fill that are really important to, to them as workers, but also to our society.” And I had been working though, personally with a, the Central Virginia Overdose Working Group, the Peer Recovery Specialist Round, Stakeholder Roundtable. So, things like that, and it started appearing, “Look, these, these Peer Recovery Specialists, they’re the central piece to recovery.” They’re people with lived experience who’ve been there and, and seen it first hand, and they can help people that are now going through it to, you know, to get to where they’re at. To, to get into recovery. So, for us, seeing that, and we said, “Look, there’s this huge need,” to finally, you know, I think the folks in the industry realized that there was a need for it, but, you know, Medicaid support, some other, you know, organizations, they realized how important these folks were as well and we said, “Let’s help build that. Let’s help make sure that the folks are understanding that opportunities there. But let’s also make sure that we’re helping those folks that can become this Peer Recovery Specialist, let’s help them take advantage of that opportunity, and not only help others but help themselves through that new career path.”

Rick Sizemore:  Yeah. Bobby, amazing work. We hear about this role, this term, Industry Intermediary, fairly new in the dialogue. Could you give us an overview of the role they play in helping to bridge the gap for people with disabilities in the workforce?

Bobby Keener:  Yeah, absolutely. So, apprenticeship, kind of, kind of pulling it back a little bit, apprenticeship itself is, quite honestly, highly misunderstood. We really think about apprenticeship as in the old guilds and, you know, the electrical apprentice, or maybe in construction, and those things exists and they’ve been massively helpful for those industries. We’ve talked to a lot of folks in those industries and it’s, you know, they’ve been doing that for, you know, 100 years, longer than 100 years, hundreds of years. But when you get into some of these other healthcare sector, technology sector, those areas really haven’t taken advantage of it. And again, a lot of it is, is that they don’t quite understand what apprenticeship is. It’s not internship, it’s, you know, it’s not a, it, it’s not some kind of part-time thing. It’s a full-time job where the person is combining, on-the-job training, actually doing the job, but with what they call, related technical instruction, which is, you know, “I’ve got to learn how to do the job,” that academic side, if you will. Now, as an intermediary, what we do, is it can be difficult for a, especially for a small, medium, even large businesses, to get into the apprenticeship, to start using apprenticeship. Because there is a lot of, you know, state agencies, federal agencies, there’s a lot of other folks you have to deal with, you got to make sure that, you know, you dot your I’s and cross your T’s. That you do everything the right way because the value of apprenticeship is in its highly structured approach and the diligence associated with that. Every organization can’t do that. So, as an intermediary, you kind of get the best of both worlds. We get the ability to go to an organization and say, “Hey, we’ve done all this heavy lifting. A lot of the, what a lot of people would say, the bureaucracy or the paperwork aspect of it all. We’ve got all these things in place, we have the experience in place to understand how this works, and we can come into your organization and work with you, to where now, instead of you having to do all of that from scratch, let us be your partner, let us go ahead and come in there. You use our program that’s been established, that we have background with, to really be able to get these apprentices in there and do the work. We’ll deal with the paperwork aspect, we’ll deal with the training aspects, we’ll deal with some of the tracking aspects, in partnership with you so that we can get you in there and get you rolling down the apprenticeship pathway. Because it’s, it’s such a… I, I got, I got to tell ya, it’s such a spectacular way to get people into the workforce pipeline and give them an opportunity that they otherwise wouldn’t have.”

Rick Sizemore:  Okay. Well, what’s the job market like for someone who wants to become a, a Peer Recovery Specialist?

Bobby Keener:  Yeah, there’s still a, you know, it’s, it’s kind of funny. This, this role has been around for a, any number of years. Over 30 states have certifications associated with this. There’s a national organization that allows those certifications to cross over from state to state. All these things have been in place, which you would think that that would make it a very mature job market. That’s just not the case the, the reality is. These were, there were pockets out there of Peer Recovery Specialists that, you know, doing great jobs, and there’s a lot of them out there. But, now we’re seeing Peer Recovery Specialists, they’re getting, you know, they’re not just in the clinics, they’re in hospitals, they’re, you know, you’re seeing them in law enforcement agencies, you’re seeing them insurance, in, in insurance agencies as well. You’re seeing them across the board because the reality is, is that the folks that need this kind of support, that need this kind of help, and that are doing this kind of business, ‘cause there is that aspect as well, are in pretty much every facet of society. So, long story short, I don’t know what the exact numbers are in Virginia, because it’s changing so rapidly and I don’t think a lot of folks have really got their hands around that yet. Nationally, as of just last year, I believe the number was over 30,000, there were over 30,000 openings for these folks and that was probably early last year. So, in two years, I can guarantee you that that number has gone up quite a lot. Out of where it stands right now, I’m not sure. But it’s, again, it’s growing so fast and changing so rapidly that it’s almost hard to know what those numbers are. The other thing I will point out, as far as the market goes, there’s the Peer Recovery Specialist and then there’s the Peer Recovery Coach, and that’s generally how we look at it in the industry. In Virginia alone, you know, working with the state agencies and, and whatnot, now we’re looking, “Hey, you know what, not everybody fits squarely into one of those. You have a Peer Recovery Specialist who needs to be more of a project manager, who needs to be more of a supervisor, who needs to be more of a technology person who enters the data and understands the data.” Those types of things, you have, you know different levels. One of the things we’ve been discussing with some of the state agencies is, you know, we have that Peer Recovery Specialist foundational level, but what about an expert-level designation or a master-level designation? What does those look like? What does that road map? So, long story short, this is a very quickly evolving and very quickly growing field that has a lot of opportunity, both from an entry-level standpoint but also from a growth standpoint.

Betsy Civilette:  And what makes a good PRS person? Like, what qualifications?

Bobby Keener:  Yeah. So, in the foundational qualifications, you know, just a couple of quick things. One, you can’t have what’s called, barrier crimes. So, there are certain levels to where they go, “Hey, you can’t do certification if you do that.” Now, those are generally only, you know, what we think of homicide and some other more extreme type things. That being said, there are a collection of those which are waivable by the employee and agency and they still allow them to go and get their certification, etcetera. Now, that’s, that’s an entry-level piece, and then another entry-level piece, and this changes slightly from state to state, that you do have to have that one year of recovery under your belt to make sure that, you know, we don’t want, you know, put you with someone that you’re helping, trying to help them when you, yourself are not ready for that. So, that’s also there. Now, with those things being in place, to, again, get, to get your certification, you have to have five, 500 hours of experience before you can take your certification training and get your certification. That can be volunteer hours, that can be with an employer, and through some of our partnership with DARS, we’re able to subsidize some of that 500 hours. Because the reality is, is if you’ve got to go volunteer for 500 hours, you’re not going to be able to feed your family, you’re not going to be able to pay your rent. That’s why the DARS partnership is so important because it allows folks to get paid, incentivize those employers to take a chance on them so they can get those hours. Then they will sit for what’s a required 72-hour training via certified Peer Recovery Coach, then they can sit and take their certification exam. Now, that’s the, that’s the kind of road, boom, boom, boom, you have to have it. What really makes a good Peer Recovery Specialist in our workings with them is honesty, you have to really be able to accept your story, be able to share your story. That’s critical and the folks that we’ve worked with, I’ve got to say, it’s, you know, it, it’ll, it’ll break you down in a, in a good way, to listen to these stories. Not because the stories are sad, because there’s a lot of hurdles you hear in the stories, but because the stories, they will, they did hit a very problematic portion of their life, and now they’re willing to share that and they’re, and you can tell that they are really recovering. And they’re going to be able to, by sharing that, giving that little bit of themselves, they’re able to help other folks. So, that for me, is, is probably the number one thing that I’ve seen to make folks in this role successful, is the honesty with, with which they can share what they’ve been through with other folks, and how they felt, you know, how other folks around them felt. Those are the things that are really, really important. And of course, having, you know, people skills and all of that is part of that, but without that honesty underlining it all, you know, the, it’s, that’s, that’s the critical factor.

Betsy Civilette:  Well, great. Thank you for sharing that and it does sound like you have some supports in place for people who can’t find the time. ‘Cause it does sound like a demanding training program, and can’t like you said, weigh their 500 hours with…

Bobby Keener:  Yeah.

Betsy Civilette:  You know, with doing the training. But it sounds like you guys are a great resource for that.

Rick Sizemore:  What leaves you with feelings of hope and optimism about people with disabilities moving into an industry that does so much to help people improve their lives?

Bobby Keener:  Yeah. I, I, the… You know, I mentioned it earlier, and we settled on this as an organization, because we were wanting to make sure we knew who we were and I, I mentioned it earlier. But, we really do believe, and this isn’t persons with disabilities, this isn’t persons with any particular background or, or anything. What we believe is that truly, most people can do most anything if they are given that opportunity and the support to take advantage of that opportunity. And again, that’s not a, that’s not a persons with disabilities thing, that’s an everybody thing. And what I’m, what I’m really seeing, which I think is a really beautiful thing is that we’re having an opportunity to show folks that persons with disabilities are just persons, you know, that, you know, that… I mean, we, we put that, you know, that, that piece on there that with disabilities, and, and we need to know that and that’s important so we can, can help them take advantage of these opportunities. But at the end of the day, making sure that folks can see that they, there is massive value, massive value that these folks are bringing to society and can bring to society if we provide them that opportunity and support. That’s, that’s really from a general standpoint, what I’m really happy about. And then from a more specific standpoint, is that society, not only do they get that advantage from the help and, and bringing additional folks into the workforce, but they also get that perspective of these folks. As I mentioned, these are folks that are sharing their story, that are honest, that come from different perspectives, than many other people do. For them to be out there and for, you know, to be working right alongside other folks and them getting an opportunity to learn from, you know, each other. That’s, that’s a, that makes me, you know, just really happy and this is, you know, I’m always a big fan of, you know, if I can impact two people, and they impact two people, and they impact two people, then, you know, it’s exponential, right? I mean, it’s…

Rick Sizemore:  Absolutely.

Bobby Keener:  The impact is, is… And that’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about doing this role. This isn’t just, you know, us helping that PRS, that person that’s going to become a PRS, it’s helping them so they can help other people, and then those people, you know, some of them are going to help other people. And the cascade effect of that is just spectacular. Anyway, that, I get excited when I talk about this because it is a, such a, such a great program, great opportunity to really provide a, make a difference in the world and, and that’s what we’re about.

Rick Sizemore:  So do we. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today. Bobby Keener is the CEO of CivilianCyber. Well, it’s time for the always entertaining and informative Heather Servais with our National Clearinghouse report. Happy 2024, Heather.

Heather Servais:  Happy New Year.

Rick Sizemore:  Yeah! What do you have in the Clearinghouse for us?

Heather Servais:  We’ve got a couple new things that I’m really excited to share with you today. The first is our newest NCRTM Curated List. And NCRTM recently partnered with the Rehabilitation Service Administration’s Braille Training grantees to create this Curated List and a Highlights Document. So, the Curated List features trainings, learning exercises, and other resources that are resulting from the Braille Training Projects, and then, we also have a Highlights Document. So, if you’re curious about what the Braille Training Projects are, you can check out the Highlights Document to learn a little bit about the programs and get a concise overview of their components and their accomplishments. And so, you hear me talk a lot on the podcast about curated lists like we just talked about the most recent one, Braille Training. We have a new video, it’s the NCRTM Curated List Video Tutorial, and this video introduces curated lists, kind of gives you an overview of what a curated list is. It walks you through how to locate it on the NCRTM, and then how to navigate the list and use it in your work. And so, when you look at this video, you can get a step-by-step guide so that you’re ready to easily access and explore all the curated lists that NCRTM has to offer. And then last but not least, we recently created a new video called, “Quick Tips for Improving the Accessibility of Microsoft Word Documents.” And this is a short video that is a really helpful starting point for those that are just kind of jumping into the world of accessibility and this gives just some short, quick tips on some of the most common remediations that are needed when working on Microsoft Word documents. So, we’re hoping that if you’re interested in learning more about accessibility, this is a great video to get you started.

Rick Sizemore:  What an exciting and useful offering.

Heather Servais:  Thanks! Yeah, we’re pretty excited about it and, you know, for me, I’ve worked in this field a long time and it was one of those things I didn’t know what I didn’t know about document and digital accessibility. And since coming on board at the Clearinghouse, this is one of those areas that I’ve really taken an interest in and have really started to learn a lot about. So, I’m hoping this helps your listeners as much as it helped me.

Rick Sizemore:  Heather Servais directs RSA’s National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials and joins us each month for the Clearinghouse Report. Links and resources from the NCRTM are included in the show notes at vrworkforcestudio.com. Thanks, Heather.

Heather Servais:  Absolutely, thanks for having me, Rick.

Rick Sizemore:  Well, thank you for getting involved in today’s show. If you or someone you know has a disability and wants to get into the workforce, vocational rehabilitation may just be the answer to kickstart your career. Visit us at vrworkforcestudio.com to find links and resources as well as our contact information. On behalf of my co-host, Betsy Civilette, I’m Rick Sizemore inviting you to join us as we podcast the sparks that ignite vocational rehabilitation.

Jake Hart:  The VR Workforce Studio Podcast is owned and operated by Vocational Rehabilitation’s Partners in Podcasting. Audio content for the podcast is provided to VR Partners in Podcasting by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, in exchange for promotional considerations.