Laura Coffey Richardson provides training and technical assistance to the Work Incentive Planning and Assistance projects through a contract with Virginia Commonwealth University’s WIPA National Training Center.
Laura has extensive experience in employment services for people with disabilities. She has created and managed a number of highly successful programs including: employment services, Social Security benefits counseling, and entrepreneurship development. Laura has also developed a high level of technical expertise in Social Security work incentives and the impact of work on other Federal benefits. Since 2001, Laura has provided benefits counseling services in her home state of Florida and around the United States. Because of her excellent direct service to beneficiaries, and her experience supervising other benefits specialists, she was recruited by Virginia Commonwealth University to provide training and technical assistance under the Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach project. She was subsequently recruited by Imagine Enterprises to work on the Transitional WIPA project, which assured that SSA disabled beneficiaries were provided services through a transitional six-month period to all areas not covered by a fully trained WIPA staff. Laura also provides services as an independent consultant on a variety of disability and employment issues.
Before Laura entered the disability and employment arena, she had 15 years of management and operational expertise in the private sector, including eight years of retail operations at various Marriott hotels and resorts. Laura is a graduate of East Carolina University.
I am thrilled to be a part of the Imagine team for many reasons. First and foremost, the mission and philosophy of Imagine mirror my own personal values and beliefs. Everyone at Imagine has the “do what it takes” attitude and truly believes in person-directed services. Every person deserves to achieve their dreams in life no matter the barriers that they face.
Secondly, I like working at Imagine because the philosophy extends not only to consumers, but also to employees. Imagine treats all staff as valuable members of the team. As a staff member, no one is simply a number, they are a member of the Imagine family and treated with the utmost courtesy and respect at all times.