What is the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program?
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is the public state and federally funded program that assists individuals with disabilities to choose, prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Employment being the successful outcome of services provided through the public vocational rehabilitation program. It is expected that individuals with disabilities who apply for services are interested in becoming employed and understand that this is the focus of the VR program.
Who is Eligible for VR Services?
Do you want to work?
Do you have a condition that limits your job opportunities?
To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, you must – 1) have a physical, intellectual or emotional impairment which is a substantial barrier to employment, and 2) require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment, and 3) be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your vocational rehabilitation office will presume that you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.
How Do You Obtain Services Through the
Vocational Rehabilitation Program?
Individuals with disabilities must first apply for the VR program and be determined eligible before services can be provided. Individuals with significant disabilities are presumed eligible for the program if an application is completed and there is documentation of disability. All applicants for the VR program are encouraged to present documentation of their disability and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) to speed up the eligibility process.
(Individualized Plan for Employment)
The eligible individual with a disability and a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will work together to develop an employment plan called the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The Employment Plan considers the individual’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, skills, abilities, preferences, capabilities, interests, and values, as well as the barriers to employment. The Employment Plan identifies the employment goal that the individual has chosen, the time it is expected to reach the goal, the services that the individual chooses as necessary to reach the employment goal, and how the services will be provided. Some of the services may be provided directly by the VR Counselor, others may be available through other public sources such as netWORKri (One Stop Career Centers), and others may be purchased with funds provided by the VR agency. The individual may develop the Employment Plan with the assistance of the VR Counselor, another individual, or by him or herself. The VR Counselor is always available to provide assistance in this process, and a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor who works for the public VR program must approve the Employment Plan before any services are provided through the VR agency. The partnership between each individual with a disability and their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is a key component in the Vocational Rehabilitation process.
What Are Some of the Services that
can be Included in an Employment Plan?
- Counseling and Guidance to help plan vocational goals and services;
- Transition Services from School to Career;
- Rehabilitation Technology Services;
- Assistive Technology Services;
- Diagnostic Evaluations;
- College or Vocational Training;
- Job Training and Job Supports;
- Job Development and Placement Services;
- Vehicle Modifications;
- Housing Modifications;
- Post-Employment Services.
What Are Some Services After an
Employment Goal is Achieved?
Employment is the successful outcome for the individual with a disability and the VR program. Once employed, however, the VR agency may assist with post-employment services to assist the individual to retain or advance in employment.
If you are interested in applying for services, please fill out and sign the completed Application (Espanol) and return to Intake, Office of Rehabilitation Services, 40 Fountain Street, Providence, RI 02903.