New software development process to improve efficiency, productivity

On Oct. 1, ADRS Computer Services will officially switch to a new software development methodology aimed to increase efficiency and productivity. The new approach – which is being implemented now through trials – is called “Scrum.” It is the best-known variant of several “agile” software development strategies. Agile software development is nimble and promotes adaptive planning, quick development, early delivery, and continuous improvement.Continue reading “New software development process to improve efficiency, productivity”

Francisco becomes new director of HRD

Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw recently named Tracy Francisco the department’s new director of Human Resource Development (HRD). Francisco’s promotion was effective Aug. 16. She joined ADRS in May 2015 as the department’s personnel manager. “When I first arrived at ADRS,” Francisco said, “it immediately felt like home to me. What excites me most about this promotion isContinue reading “Francisco becomes new director of HRD”

Video to showcase ADRS Business Relations versatility

A video project that will be used as part of a best practices toolkit for the 80 vocational rehabilitation agencies nationwide will feature several Alabama businesses as partners of the ADRS Business Relations Program. Once completed, the video – entitled Focus on Alabama: Business Engagement at Five Phases – will serve as a companion to a toolkit on the five differentContinue reading “Video to showcase ADRS Business Relations versatility”

Burdeshaw makes first field visit as commissioner (photo gallery)

New ADRS Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw made the first of many field office visits July 14, when she toured ADRS-Lakeshore and the CRS CP Neuro Clinic at Children’s South Pediatric Outpatient Center. Commissioner Burdeshaw also made time to visit Homewood CRS staff before attending the quarterly Alabama Business Leadership Network (ABLN) board meeting in the afternoon. Burdeshaw plans similar visits toContinue reading “Burdeshaw makes first field visit as commissioner (photo gallery)”

A Q&A with new Commissioner Burdeshaw

Q: Tell us a bit about your background in rehabilitation. A: My first real job after receiving my degree was with the Alabama Elks Memorial Center in Montgomery. It’s closed now, but my time there might have positively impacted my career more than anything else I’ve done since. The Elks Center was an ADRS CRPContinue reading “A Q&A with new Commissioner Burdeshaw”

Commissioner Cary F. Boswell’s retirement reception (video, photo gallery)

Members of the Rehab Family gathered June 24 to honor Commissioner Cary F. Boswell for his decades of leadership and service to Alabamians with disabilities. Attendees included friends, family, community partners, and colleagues as well as former ADRS Commissioner Lamona Lucas.

Board names Burdeshaw next ADRS commissioner (photo gallery)

The Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services has appointed Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw to succeed Cary Boswell as ADRS commissioner. Boswell, who will be retiring June 30, has served in the department’s top spot since 2009. Burdeshaw has been with ADRS almost 20 years, having served as a SAIL case manager, vocational rehabilitation counselor, staff training andContinue reading “Board names Burdeshaw next ADRS commissioner (photo gallery)”

Thirty-five students graduate 2016 edition of Youth Leadership Forum (photo gallery)

Thirty-five students with disabilities are now graduates of this year’s Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum (YLF). The 18th edition of the program took place last week on the campus of Troy University and was sponsored by ADRS. YLF is an innovative, intensive, five-day career leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities throughout Alabama. Program activities focusContinue reading “Thirty-five students graduate 2016 edition of Youth Leadership Forum (photo gallery)”

Field offices honor Lamona Lucas’ legacy (photo gallery)

ADRS certainly celebrates Cinco de Mayo in style. From one corner of Alabama to another, ADRS offices paid special tribute to Founding Commissioner Lamona Lucas on May 5. Under Lucas’ leadership, groundbreaking legislation was drafted to unify and house the state’s services for Alabama’s babies, children, teens, and adults with disabilities under one roof. PriorContinue reading “Field offices honor Lamona Lucas’ legacy (photo gallery)”

May 5 event honors founding commissioner (video, photo gallery)

  Founding Commissioner Lamona Lucas, who more than 22 years ago led the drive to establish an independent department for Alabamians with disabilities of all ages, was honored today in Montgomery and in all ADRS offices around the state. Under Lucas’s leadership, groundbreaking legislation was drafted to unify and house the state’s services for Alabama’s babies, children, teens,Continue reading “May 5 event honors founding commissioner (video, photo gallery)”

ADRS Med Aspects conference offers training opportunity for staff

The ADRS Medical Aspects of Disability Conference attracted some 250 EI, CRS, VRS, and SAIL staff to the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham. The two-day conference featured 16 distinct concurrent sessions on such topics as diabetes, dementia, traumatic brain injury and vision, dysphagia, professional ethics, seizures and epilepsy, spasticity management, Parkinson’s disease, “hearing privilege,” and stroke.

2015 edition of Youth Leadership Forum graduates 34

Thirty-four students with disabilities are now graduates of this year’s Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum (YLF). The program, now in its 17th year, took place this week on the campus of Troy University and was sponsored by ADRS. On Wednesday, the students toured the state Capitol and attended a mentor luncheon at the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery. YLF isContinue reading “2015 edition of Youth Leadership Forum graduates 34”

Tour bus stops in Alabama to celebrate 25 years of the ADA

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Legacy Tour bus is rolling across the country to raise awareness and build excitement for this milestone anniversary. Guest speakers Rep. Thad McClammy (D-Montgomery) and Gov. Robert Bentley both served as guest speakers for the event on theContinue reading “Tour bus stops in Alabama to celebrate 25 years of the ADA”

ADRS, delegates prep for 17th YLF

Delegates are set to arrive for the 17th annual Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) in Troy, May 31 through June 4. Each year, the event better equips high school juniors and seniors with disabilities to take charge of their own lives through self-esteem, self-advocacy, and independent living skills. With 38 delegates expected to attend,Continue reading “ADRS, delegates prep for 17th YLF”

New emergency communications system useful for persons with disabilities

In an emergency situation, minutes — and even seconds — count. A new service is now available in several areas of the state to boost the functionality of emergency 9-1-1 calls. Known as Smart911, the service allows you to create a customized profile detailing various disabilities, mobility limitations, medical conditions, allergies, medications, emergency contacts, or special transport needsContinue reading “New emergency communications system useful for persons with disabilities”

Department celebrates 20 years of serving Alabamians with disabilities

Twenty years ago, the Alabama Legislature and Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. established the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services to provide a service-delivery system specifically designed for people with disabilities and their families. With this legislation, Alabama’s rehabilitation, education, and employment services for infants, children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities were consolidated into a single agencyContinue reading “Department celebrates 20 years of serving Alabamians with disabilities”

SAIL staffer Autrey receives national leadership award

SAIL Rehabilitation Specialist Steve Autrey is this year’s recipient of the National Rehabilitation Association’s (NRA) Yvonne Johnson Leadership Award. Autrey received the award Nov. 1 at the NRA Annual Training Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 2001, the Yvonne Johnson Leadership Award has been given annually to an individual who is highly committed to issues concerning people withContinue reading “SAIL staffer Autrey receives national leadership award”