Vocational rehabilitation (VR) is the provision of services to enable individuals with disabilities to pursue meaningful careers and employment commensurate with their abilities and capabilities.
Federal/State Vocational Rehabilitation Programs
Every state has a federally funded agency that administers vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, and independent living services. The services available under these programs vary widely depending upon the state. They may include medical, psychological, vocational, and other types of assessments; counseling and guidance; referral to secure necessary services from other agencies; physical and mental restoration services; vocational and other types of training; interpreter and reader services; services to family members; rehabilitation technology services; placement in suitable employment; post-employment services; and/or other goods and services necessary to achieve rehabilitation objectives. Some states have separate vocational rehabilitation programs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and a few states have separate programs for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. To find the vocational rehabilitation program in your state, check The DRM Regional Resource Directory which includes the names and addresses of all state VR departments, with links and e-mail addresses when available.
The Rehabilitation Services Administration is the federal agency that oversees programs that help individuals with disabilities to obtain employment through the provision of counseling, medical and psychological services, job training, and other service. RSA funds the state vocational rehabilitation agencies to provide employment-related services for individuals with disabilities. The RSA web site provides information about RSA’s organization, programs, grants, monitoring, guidelines, etc.
This issue of NICHCY Transition Summary “describes the importance of vocational assessment in the educational process of students with disabilities planning for the transition from school to work. Vocational assessment is defined in this document, its purposes are explained, and the ways in which vocational assessment can benefit teenagers with special needs are discussed. Types of assessments are discussed as well, as are the roles that key professionals play in the assessment process.”
A division of the National Rehabilitation Association, VEWAA is a non-profit organization is a non-profit professional association whose members work with people to match them with training, careers, and employment. Its web site provides information about VEWAA’s services, training, publications, professional developments, policy, news, etc.