If an individual with a disability wants to obtain, retain, regain, or advance in employment, there are resources to help.  Our state receives a significant amount of funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration within the federal government.  That money is required to be used for vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities.  Almost any good or service can be a vocational rehabilitation service if it will help an individual get a job, keep a job, or advance in their job.

Here are just a few of the vocational rehabilitation services that are available to assist persons with disabilities in seeking an employment goal:

  • Assessments by persons skilled in rehabilitation technology;
  • Physical and mental restoration services;
  • Advanced training in, but not limited to, a field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (including computer science), medicine, law, or business);
  • Tuition, room and board;
  • Books, tools, and other training materials;
  • Transportation assistance;
  • Interpreter services;
  • Reader services;
  • Orientation and mobility services for individuals who are blind;
  • Job search and placement assistance;
  • Personal assistance services;
  • Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks, and supplies;
  • Rehabilitation technology, including vehicular modification, telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices;
  • And much more.

We have seen individuals receive assistive technology to help them communicate, assistance with food, clothing, and shelter, modifications to make offices or vehicles accessible, even surgeries to correct physical problems that prevent a person from working.

Another important fact to remember, is that we assist individuals with obtaining these services.  If you disagree with your rehabilitation counselor regarding what services you need to achieve your employment goals, please contact us.  We provide free legal representation and advocacy through the administrative process to help you get what you need to achieve competitive, integrated employment.

Thomas Nichols is DRA’s Legal and Advocacy Director. Email him at tnichols@disabilityrightsar.org.