Requesting Feedback Related to State VR Agency Technical Assistance Needs

As part of OSERS’ commitment to rethink its work to ensure that it is in the best position to achieve its mission, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is rethinking the way it supports and partners with its key stakeholders to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

One aspect of this ongoing work is rethinking how RSA evaluates the technical assistance needs of State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and RSA’s strategies for disseminating resources and tools that help State VR agencies provide services to individuals with disabilities and the business community.

Through this blog, RSA is interested in receiving feedback from State VR agencies and stakeholders related to two areas: employer services and career advancement under the VR program. In particular, RSA requests that commenters respond to the following questions:

  1. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to on-demand training (e.g., online videos) for businesses and other employers related to disability issues?
  2. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to on-demand training for businesses related to disability issues and through what mode(s) should RSA provide this technical assistance to State VR agencies?
  3. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to the provision of career advancement services for individuals with disabilities who are employed?
  4. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to career advancement and through what mode(s) should RSA deliver this technical assistance to State VR agencies?

RSA will consider comments submitted to the OSERS Blog through December 5, 2019. We appreciate your thoughtful feedback as we work to maximize employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.


Note:  To help us in our review, we ask that you only address the questions in the comment section. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as a Social Security number, an address, a phone number or an email address in the body of your comment. Comments containing the aforementioned information, or that do not address the above questions, will not be allowed.

October and Disability Awareness — 2019

ICYMI "In Case You Missed It!"

Throughout October, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services highlighted aspects of disability awareness for national disability employment, dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD and Down syndrome.

Check out the stories below.

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Exploring Career Opportunities in Alaska

Note: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Logo - Alaska Department of Vocational Rehabilitation


This spring, 65 students with disabilities from southeast Alaska participated in the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (DVR’s) Explore program.

The Explore program is a hands-on career exploration opportunity in the high-demand fields of construction, power technology and healthcare.

Explore is part of Alaska DVR’s Pre-Employment Transition Services that promotes career paths in high-demand, high-wage occupations through postsecondary vocational training for students with disabilities. This program is made possible through a partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast School of Career Education.

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Getting Where I Need to Go: Traveling Opens Doors

Jamel Berry

By Jamel Berry


When I was in high school, I was advised to contact New York State’s Adult Career and Continuing Education Services — Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) for job training. However, I wasn’t traveling on my own yet, because even though I was 20 years old at the time, I relied on the school bus to get around during all my years of school.

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Vocational Rehabilitation for Individuals with Disabilities from High School and College Youth to Adults

The Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services works to bring about full access to employment, independence and community integration for people with disabilities.

Working with its partners in the Maine Department of Labor’s CareerCenter and the rehabilitation community, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services works with persons with disabilities through the divisions of vocational rehabilitation, blind and visually impaired, and deaf, hard of hearing and late deafened.

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The Power of Partnerships

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Ethan - Photo 2

By Chris Pope, OSERS RSA, and Kathy West-Evans, CSAVR


Partnerships between state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and the private sector have helped individuals with disabilities served by state VR agencies to meet their career goals.

Ethan, a young man with Autism, secured a paid internship with HP Inc. last spring thanks in part to a partnership between the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (CSAVR) National Employment Team (NET), Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and Michigan Technological University (MTU).

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Vocational Rehabilitation Success Stories from the Sunshine State

Note: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Florida’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Florida Department of Education offers various vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to Florida customers.

This division has helped clients find jobs including services, technical and professional positions, self-employment, business start-up, and others positions across the state.

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Transitions and Transmissions: VR Services Help Teen Roadmap a Career Path

Note: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kenneth Singletary, working on a car.

By Way2Work Maryland

Way2Work Maryland, a five-year federal RSA research grant in Maryland, connects students with disabilities in local school systems across the state to community rehabilitation providers to participate in Work-Based Learning Experiences.


Way2Work student Kenneth Singletary was connected to TransCen, Inc. for services in his junior year thanks to a partnership between the University of Maryland, the Maryland Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services and its pre-employment transition services funding, and the Harford County, Maryland school system.

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Career Pathways Advancement Project — Individuals with Disabilities Find Work That Best Fits Them

Note: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Nebraska VR logo in center of 4 photos. Top Left: A.J. (Andrew) Sigler, A1 United Heating, Air & Electrical Construction. Top Right: Sam Nelson, Environmental Services Associate. Bottom Left: Tanna Skarniak, Owner TS Preservation Specialist. Bottom Left: Amanda Carr, Hy-Vee Courtesy Clerk ]

The Career Pathways Advancement Project (CPAP) is designed for Nebraska vocational rehabilitation (VR) clients to explore and access opportunities to advance in their employment.

Through a combination of classroom and on-the-job training, clients earn the recognized postsecondary credentials required for advancement within a specific industry. CPAP provides employers access to a group of potential employees with the required and relevant skills.

This project is funded by a five-year grant awarded to Nebraska VR in 2015.

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RSA Application Assistance for 2019 Grant Competition: 84.263C


Competition:

Rehabilitation Training: Innovative Rehabilitation Training Program

CFDA:

84.263C

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to attracting as many qualified applicants as possible for its discretionary grant competitions. The Department is also committed to an equitable and transparent application process. OSERS is, therefore, providing to interested applicants technical assistance on the application process and application requirements for this competition.

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