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What is Vocational Rehabilitation?

Vocational rehabilitation is a federal-state program designed to assist people with physical and/or mental disabilities who are either entering the workforce, or returning to it after becoming disabled (NARIC). Some services offered include vocational evaluation and planning, job coaching, career counseling, job placement, and on-the-job training.

Who Can Seek Vocational Rehabilitation?

Those who qualify for vocational rehabilitation were either born with a disability, or have recently become disabled. This includes but is not limited to, veterans, adults with or without prior work experience, college students or recent graduates, or high school graduates.

Vocational rehabilitation offers these services, and more, to arrange a smooth and equitable transition for disabled people going into the workplace. Often the focus of a program is to provide patients with the necessary skills to meet their personal and career-oriented goals. Ideally, the skills patients gain will not only lead to employment, but employment retention, and an improved sense of overall independence.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Process

It is a counselor’s job to identify the barriers preventing someone from achieving their employment goals, and to then develop a strategy to help him or her succeed.

The exact processes of vocational rehabilitation may differ slightly depending on state requirements and a patient’s individual needs. Provided below is a general outline of what to expect in a vocational rehabilitation program.

Orientation/Application

The first step toward receiving vocational rehabilitation services will be attending an orientation. Patients may have the chance to interview, ask questions, and meet with counselors. A patient also generally fills out an application at this time.

Determine Eligibility

Patients will be asked to verify their disabilities with the state for agency service purposes. Disclosing a disability does more than determining someone’s eligibility, it can help to identify which workplace barriers a person experiences, along with developing a plan to combat these obstacles.

Creating an IPE

An Individual Plan for Employment, or IPE, is typically created between a patient and counselor to record the foundational steps needed to help the patient reach his or her goals.

Following the IPE

The IPE can serve as a step-by-step plan between a patient and counselor to map out the rehabilitation process. This can include any necessary treatment options with other healthcare providers like therapists or occupational therapists as well.

Finding a Job

After a counselor and patient work through an IPE together, the patient should feel confident enough to apply for work. He or she will still receive guidance and support when writing cover letters and resumes. Further guidance may be provided in the form of learning interview tips and job coaching.

Closing the Case -AKA Success!

Counselor and patient can celebrate at this final step in the process. Once a patient is employed, he or she should feel more at ease when entering the workplace. On-the-job training, and other support services should be available if need be.

Finding Vocational Rehabilitation Information in Your State

Vocational rehabilitation programs are offered in all 50 states. Each state’s process for applying for vocational rehabilitation may vary slightly. To find vocational rehabilitation services in your state, we have provided a list below of state programs.

This list is referenced from RSA (Rehabilitation Services Administration) programs. It’s important to note that some states may have more than one agency for vocational rehabilitation.

Alabama

Department of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (334) 293-7500

Alaska

Division of Vocational Rehab

Phone: (907) 465-2814

Arizona

Rehabilitation Services Administration

Phone: (602) 542-6295

Arkansas

Arkansas-General: Arkansas Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (501) 296-1600

Arkansas-Blind: Division Services for the Blind

Phone: (501) 682-5463

California

Department of Rehabilitation

Phone: (916) 324-1313

Colorado

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (303) 866-4150

Connecticut

Connecticut-General: Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (860) 424-4844

Connecticut-Blind: Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind

Phone: (800) 602-4000

Delaware

Delaware-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (302) 761-8275

Delaware-Blind: Division for the Visually Impaired

Phone: (302) 255-9800

Florida

Florida-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (850) 245-3479

Florida-Blind: Division of Blind Services

Phone: (850) 245-0300

Georgia

Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

Phone: (866) 489-0001

Hawaii

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (808) 586-4993

Idaho

Idaho-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (208) 334-3390

Idaho-Blind: State Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (208) 334-3220

Illinois

Division of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (800) 843-6154

Indiana

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (800) 545-7763

Iowa

Iowa-General: Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (515) 281-4211

Iowa-Blind: Department for the Blind

Phone: (515) 281-1333

Kansas

Department for Children and Families

Phone: (785) 368-7471

Kentucky

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (502) 782-3402

Louisiana

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (225) 219-2225

Maine

Maine-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (207) 623-7943

Maine-Blind: Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (207) 623-7954

Maryland

Division of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (410) 554-9442

Massachusetts

Massachusetts-General: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

Phone: (617) 204-3600

Massachusetts-Blind: Commission for the Blind

Phone: (617) 727-5550

Michigan

Michigan-General: Michigan Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (517) 241-5324

Michigan-Blind: Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons

Phone: (517) 373-2062

Minnesota

Minnesota-General: Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (651) 259-7367

Minnesota-Blind: State Services for the Blind

Phone: (651) 642-0500

Mississippi

Department of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (800) 443-1000

Missouri

Missouri-General: Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (573) 751-3251

Missouri-Blind: State Services for the Blind

Phone: (573) 751-4249

Montana

Montana Disability and Employment Transitions Division

Phone: (406) 444-4179

Nebraska

Nebraska-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (402) 471-3644

Nebraska-Blind: Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (402) 471-2891

Nevada

Rehabilitation Division

Phone: (775) 684-4040

New Hampshire

Division of Career Technology and Adult Learning

Phone: (603) 271-3471

New Jersey

New Jersey-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (609) 292-7318

New Jersey-Blind: Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (973) 648-3333

New Mexico

New Mexico-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (505) 954-8500

New Mexico-Blind: Commission for the Blind

Phone: (505) 827-4479

New York

New York-General: Adult Career and Continuing Education Services

Phone: (800) 222-5627

New York-Blind: Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped

Phone: (866) 871-6000

North Carolina

North Carolina-General: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (800) 689-9090

North Carolina-Blind: Division of Services for the Blind

Phone: (919) 527-6704

North Dakota

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (701) 328-8950

Ohio

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Phone: (866) 895-0058

Oklahoma

Department of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (405) 951-3400

Oregon

Oregon-General: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (503) 945-5880

Oregon-Blind: State Commission for the Blind

Phone: (971) 673-1588

Pennsylvania

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (717) 787-5476

Rhode Island

Office of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (401) 421-7005

South Carolina

South Carolina-General: South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Phone: (800) 832-7526

South Carolina-Blind: Commission for the Blind

Phone: (888) 335-5951

South Dakota

South Dakota-General: Division of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (605) 773-3195

South Dakota-Blind: Services for the Blind

Phone: (605) 773-4644

Tennessee

Division of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (615) 313-4891

Texas

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (800) 628-5115

Utah

Utah State Office of Rehabilitation

Phone: (801) 535-3881

Vermont

Vermont-General: Vocational Rehabilitation Division

Phone: (802) 241-1455

Vermont-Blind: Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (800) 639-5861

Virginia

Virginia-General: Department of Rehabilitative Services

Phone: (804) 662-7000

Virginia-Blind: Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (804) 371-3151

Washington

Washington-General: Division of Vocational Services

Phone: (360) 725-3610

Washington-Blind: Department of Services for the Blind

Phone: (800) 552-7103

West Virginia

Division of Rehabilitation Services

Phone: (304) 356-2060

Wisconsin

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (608) 261-0050

Wyoming

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Phone: (307) 777-8650