Teamwork to Make the Dream Work

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Michelle Novak

By Michelle Novak, Community Liaison for Tradewinds


The relationship between the vocational rehabilitation counselor, employment specialist and the job seeker are important when it comes to finding successful employment. The support and encouragement on the road to a successful employment placement can make a positive impact for everyone involved. In this case, an Employment Specialist shares her perspective on the VR client and her determination to succeed after five years on the employment search.

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What’s Your Vision?

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

What's Your Vision PSA

By David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind


As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) launched a new campaign emphasizing the importance of ensuring all Massachusetts residents, including those who are blind or visually impaired, have the opportunity to put their skills and talents to work, for the benefit of themselves and the Commonwealth’s employers and economy.

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Pathways to Partnerships — South Carolina

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

South Carolina — Partnerships Making A Difference

By Kimberly Tissott, ABLE SC

 

 

ABLE logo

 

SCVRD logo

 

SCDOE logo

 

How can partnerships advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities?

In the July 30 webinar, The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) brought together vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, centers for independent living (CILs), and special education from four states: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and South Carolina to discuss successful partnerships and to describe how their partnerships and collaboration are advancing competitive integrated employment for students, youth, and young adults with disabilities.

In a follow-up to the July presentation, this blog specifically focuses on South Carolina’s partnership between Able South Carolina (Able SC), South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department, (SCVRD) and South Carolina Department of Education (SCDOE). All three agencies are working together to achieve better results and outcomes for individuals with disabilities relating to school, employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

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California Career Innovations Success Story

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness MonthCalifornia Career Innovations logo (lightbulb)


The California Department of Rehabilitation partnered with San Diego State University Interwork Institute for a work-based learning initiative, the California Career Innovations (CCi).

The CCi initiative evaluates the effects and benefits of work-based learning experiences to prepare students with disabilities to enter post-secondary education and obtain competitive integrated employment.

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Spotlight on Oregon Commission for the Blind’s Pre-ETS Program: Daniel Bair

Daniel Bair Playing a Violin


Many people are familiar with the Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB)’s work helping seniors and adults, but helping youth successfully transition from school to the workforce though pre-employment activities, or “Pre-ETS”, is another significant part of what we do.

Perhaps because we’ve held it for 45 years, one of our more well-known Pre-ETS programs is the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP). Serving youth ages 16-20 with low vision, SWEP helps prepare youth to live independently and enter the workforce. With programs in Portland and Salem, students typically work between 25-30 hours per week at worksites related to their career interests.

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Federal Partnerships Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

logo: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)logo: National Employment Team (NET)

By Kathy West-Evans, Director of Business Relations, CSAVR


VR and the IRS: A Partnership that Produces Positive Returns

To fulfill its workforce needs across multiple states, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) partners with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (CSAVR) National Employment Team (NET), and the relationship is producing positive returns for the agency and candidates with disabilities alike. 

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Impact Stories — Way2Work Maryland

Throughout June, we will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020. This third blog in the series highlights two students from Maryland’s Way2Work program. Stay tuned as the graduates featured in this blog will also be part of the VR 100 webinar series in August.  


Congratulations graduates! A spotlight on Way2Work Maryland participants

Way2Work logo


Way2Work Maryland is a partnership between the University of Maryland’s Center for Transition and Career Innovation and the Division of Rehabilitation Services through the Maryland State Department of Education. It is a project designed to improve the academic and career success of students with disabilities in Maryland through work-based learning experiences. The project serves students with either an Individualized Education Program or a 504 Plan who will complete high school with a diploma or certificate.

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Ensuring an Inclusive Rapid Response to COVID-19

NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

Logos for the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP)

By the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP)


As the nation continues to adapt to the “new normal” brought on by COVID-19, so too do state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. While the circumstances are unprecedented, VR’s nimbleness is not. Adapting during a pandemic is one more example of how the Michigan VR program has continually evolved to meet shifting needs over the course of its 100-year history.

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A Picture of Success

NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

Dillon Maestrejuan

Dillon Maestrejuan

By Nevada Vocational Rehabilitation


If a picture is worth a thousand words, Dillon Maestrejuan is a prolific storyteller, and he is turning a passion for photography into a promising career path with assistance from Nevada Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).

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A Commitment to Inclusive Employment

The Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (CSAVR) National Employment Team (the NET), in partnership with CVS Health, a business at the forefront of building an inclusive workplace for individuals with disabilities, released a new video on recruiting, training and employing individuals with disabilities. OSERS highlighted one of the employees featured in the video this past October in a blog during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, “The Dual Customer: Individuals with Disabilities and Business.”

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