Partnership receives $160K grant to develop diversity training

VBPD grant will help providers explore their own biases. Office of Strategic Engagement will help co-facilitate a pilot.

Dana V. Yarbrough, director of the Center for Family Involvement, a program within the Partnership for People with Disabilities.
Dana V. Yarbrough, TIDE principal investigator. (Courtesy Photo)

The Partnership for People with Disabilities, a center affiliated with the VCU School of Education, has received a $160,000 grant from the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities to develop inclusion, diversity and equity training for Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who have intersecting cultural, ethnic and social identities.

The project – titled Training on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (TIDE) – will use topical content, opportunities for self-assessment, reflection sessions, and a resource toolkit to help employees of Medicaid home- and community-based providers develop a space to explore their own biases and expand their knowledge of inclusion, diversity and equity concepts.

“It is vitally important that provider staff understand the potential for biases, the cycle of prejudice, and resulting service inequities when cultural differences exist between people with IDD and the staff who support them,” said Dana Yarbrough, TIDE principal investigator and assistant director of strategic initiatives at the Partnership.

Following a pilot process co-facilitated with the SOE’s Office of Strategic Engagement (OSE) in the Central Virginia and Hampton Roads regions, a final TIDE and toolkit will be available online by December 2022. The project, which began August 1, will continue through December 31, 2023. For more information, please contact Dana Yarbrough at

OSE staff participating in the project include Joshua P. Cole, Ph.D., executive director, Cassandra B. Stanley, Ed.D., assistant director, and Leslie LaBrie, program operations coordinator.