VCU-ACE is primarily funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). VDOE elected to engage the supports of a University Center as a part of its response to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee Report, Assessment of Services for Virginian's with Autism Spectrum Disorders, because of the unique collaborations that universities can forge across service sectors. Additionally, VCU has extensive experience in all aspects of this plan and is a national leader in the training of educators and physicians for the Commonwealth. Thus, VCU is uniquely qualified to deliver this scope of activities through collaboration with multiple state partners.
The Virginia Autism Resource Center (VARC) is funded through a generous grant from the VA Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and is a collaborative effort between Grafton Inc. and VCU-ACE. Historically, VARC provided training and technical assistance for all individuals with ASD across the entire age range. Due to the increase in persons identified with a spectrum disorder in addition to an intensified focus on improving outcomes of this group by the Virginia Department of Education, the scope of VARC changed. With VCU-ACE becoming a leading provider of training and technical assistance in school divisions serving students 2 to 22 in Virginia, VARC funding is primarily used to provide information and referrals, resources, and online training to families, early intervention providers, adult services providers, and other interested stakeholders in the community. This ensures resources are available to all stakeholders who support or love a person with autism spectrum disorder.