What Should I Know About Vocational Rehabilitation?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Worker
Worker

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) is the name for three different types of program. Vocational rehabilitation is, on the one hand, a set of services aimed at helping people with disabilities to become or stay employed. Such programs are mandated by the Federal legislation called the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which authorizes help specifically for disabled individuals. The program is administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

A second type of vocational rehabilitation involves worker retraining after the worker has suffered an injury in order to help him or her resume employment. The third type of vocational rehabilitation is a program of assistance to people who are underemployed or unemployed, and are still striving towards their employment potential.

Students who need vocational rehabilitation may receive services as part of their Individual Education Program (IEP). Graduating students usually have a transition team to help them move on to the next step of vocational rehabilitation, should they still need services.

Adults who need services can find help from either government agencies or non-profit organizations. One non-profit with a long-term commitment to vocational rehabilitation is Goodwill Industries of America. Goodwill helps people who are unemployed, whether they have disabilities, insufficient job training or experience, or other vocational impediments. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) helps match individuals with organizations that provide vocational rehabilitation.

State offices and programs may also be located by calling your state government, each of which has at minimum a vocational rehabilitation office for people with disabilities. States offer a variety of services that may include assessment of needs, vocational counseling, training, transportation, school-to-work transition assistance, interpreter services, and job placement. States often have a dedicated office for the blind and visually impaired. Certain states have unique initiatives, like the Iowa program called Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program, which has the goal of helping people with disabilities to start and run their own businesses.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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