Vocational Rehabilitation


Another Big Date

Blink. Now your child is turning 22. What are the options when the school bus stops coming for him or her? Not many, really.

Disabled adults can get employment help through the Vocational Rehabilitation system and live as independently as they are able with help from HUD, Fannie Mae and other agencies.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation is for employment services for people with disabilities. Voc Rehab helps people make career plans, learn job skills, coordinate services for independent living, and get and keep jobs.

There is no national agency, but rather individual state agencies for Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) or in some states called Rehabilitative Services Administration (RSA.) To find yours, google "the name of your state and vocational rehab."

Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)

Clients of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR - in some states called Rehabilitative Services Administration, or RSA) can work with counselors to design an individualized plan regarding employment, assessments, and services related to employment.

Services are tailored for each person, based on their employment goal. Major services are Vocational Counseling, Job Matching, Custom Training, Assistive Technology, Independent Living, and Job Placement.

  • Vocational counseling - Voc Rehab staff members will talk with you about your skills, abilities, and what you want to do. This could include working at a temporary job arrangement with an employer to see what your skills and interests are. Together you'll come up with an employment plan. This will include your employment goal and the services you need to reach it.
  • Job Matching - Voc Rehab staff will help you match your skills, abilities and interests to the needs of local employers so you can get the job that best matches you.
  • Custom Training - This training helps you learn the specific skills your future job requires. You learn these skills, on the job, at your future workplace. With some employers, Voc Rehab and the employer have designed a training program specifically for people who are working with Voc Rehab. With other employers, you could learn the skills from a co-worker or supervisor, or from a job coach arranged by Voc Rehab.
  • Assistive Technology - At a jobsite a person may benefit from the use of special devicing or accommodations in order to do the job. Some examples are a TDD for someone who's deaf, raising a desk for a wheelchair, or bigger text for someone with visual impairments. We have VR specialists and the Assistive Technology Partnership to research, locate or design accommodations for people at home and at work.
  • Independent Living - Voc Rehab will help you assess and identify independent living needs which are barriers to employment. This could involve helping you learn how to manage tasks around the home more efficiently or working with you to identify resources to meet your needs.
  • Job Placement - Voc Rehab can instruct you in job seeking skills (how to sell yourselves in applications, resumes and interviews). We have formed partnerships with some companies that offer good pay and benefits. Staff may also assist you in finding other jobs as well.

Vocational Rehabilitation Resources

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Helpline, 800-669-4000

National Rehabilitation Information Center, 800-346-2742

Peterson's Internships - Published by Peterson's Guides.

Transition: Stacking the Deck In Your Favor by: Dena L Gassner (This presentation is aimed primarily at parents of teens with Aspergers and covers transition IEPs, OVR and applying for, and appealing denials for SSI.

Day Habilitation Programs

Day Habilitation programs are programs that offer day-care, teach living skills, vocational rehab skills, craft, music or other enrichment programs and are usually funded by Medicaid or other state Agencies. Ask your Medicaid caseworker or google for 'Day Habilitation programs autism and your state.'

Please note: The information in these articles is not intended to constitute legal advice applicable to specific factual situations.