Get to Know: Raymond "Chip" Kenney

"Chip" Kenney, M.S., Project Director, Southeast Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center


Katherine McDonald

Chip has extensive experience working in the fields of rehabilitation and disability studies relative to academics, disability rights, and managing service delivery programs for persons with disabilities.

How did you come to work in rehabilitation and disability studies?
I have been in the disability field for over 30 years. The initial exposure to this field was as a college intern. As is true of most people in this field, the major attraction is the opportunities to positively impact the lives of individuals.

When and how did you join Southeast TACE?
I joined Southeast TACE, a project of BBI, as project director in July of 2009. At that time, I was working with the National Disability Institute. Prior to that, I held a position, similar to my current role, at Georgia State University. I have worked in the southeast my entire career, and have extensive contacts in this region.

What does your position as TACE project director entail?
The mission of Southeast TACE is meet the technical assistance and continuing education needs of state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies and their community partners. To accomplish this, Southeast TACE works with a large regional and national network of consultants (private and university-based). My main role, along with other staff members, is to assess the needs of state agencies and develop and manage activities to meet those needs.

Effective management and coordination of the work of consultants used in these activities is critical to the success of Southeast TACE. The best part of this job is working with the gifted TACE consultants and staff to bring creative and innovative solutions to Vocational Rehabilitation agencies.

You were a founding member of the Region IV Employment Partners Team; could you elaborate a bit on what that project was and how you got it off the ground?
Back in the early 1990s, Vocational Rehabilitation agencies had little or no experience in working with employers on a large scale. The Employment Partners Team consisted of representatives from state agencies in the southeast. They came together to increase their agencies’ ability to understand and meet the needs of employers in ways that created employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

The Employment Partners Team served as a national model that has grown into the National Employment Network and has been replicated in other regions of the country. Southeast TACE works with the Employment Partners Team.

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