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.

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services clients and counselors shared their journeys to employment including improving skills needed to be a successful employee, finding employment while pursuing a teaching degree, keeping up with favorite interests and starting a business all while using labor market information to find a job matched to skills.

Career Exploration and Support to Find the Right Fit

Patrick

Samantha

Samantha and Patrick have different reasons and experiences for seeking VR services. Both, however, worked closely with Maine VR counselors to help them find employment that suited them and a place where they could continue to grow.

Watch Samantha and Patrick’s stories.

Love for Drawing and Numbers

Kristy

Kristy started working with VR in high school to help determine a good major for her in college and eventually help her as she sought fulltime employment.

Kristy found an internship with Central Maine Health Care in the accounting department. Once she completed her internship, Central Maine Health Care extended a temporary position offer to her and that temporary position eventually turned into a fulltime position.

Follow Kristy as she balances work and her other interests.

From Student to Employee

Jacob

Jacob’s father had worries about Jacob, who has cerebral palsy, and his career prospects when he finished high school. Jacob started working with VR during his junior year after his school connected him and a VR counselor.

Jacob earned a history major and minor in secondary education, and he successfully completed a 15-week student teaching rotation.

Learn more about Jacob and how his work with VR and their employment support helped him build a stable work foundation and ethic and improve his confidence.

Visually Impaired and Self Employed

Judy

Judy runs a snack bar with support from the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program for the Blind.

Find out more about Judy’s snack bar and the accommodations she uses to help her succeed.

 


Videos and stories originally posted to Maine’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services.

Blog articles provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees, and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. Articles do not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum or pedagogy.

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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RSA Application Assistance for 2019 Grant Competition: 84.250M


Competition:

American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services

CFDA: 84.250M

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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Meeting WIOA Requirements: Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance

WINTAC logo

For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, check out the many resources available in the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM), funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). Bookmark the NCRTM RSA Technical Assistance & Other Resources page for quick access to the RSA portal, RSA TA centers and funded projects, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) federal partners, other resources and research databases.

In this final blog of a three-part blog series from NCRTM, we offer ways to stay current with employment trends related to the workforce and people with disabilities. View first blog and second blog from NCRTM.

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Way2Work: Helping Marylanders with Disabilities Transition into the Workforce

This is the final blog in a series of three blogs in October from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) to honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month.


Way2Work Maryland logo

Way2Work Maryland is a project designed to improve the academic and career success of students with disabilities in Maryland through work-based learning experiences. The project is open to any student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan who will complete high school with a diploma or certificate in 2020. The project focuses on helping students engage in paid or unpaid work experiences, aligned with their interests and skills, while supporting a student’s academic success to complete high school. During the 2018-19 school year, seven Maryland counties engaged in the program for juniors and other students who are two years away from finishing high school. The program is a partnership of the Maryland’s Department of Education, Maryland’s Division of Rehabilitation Services, the American Job Center Network, and the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland.

The following stories highlight the work done by those Way2Work Maryland serves.

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Successful Work Experiences

Alaska and Nevada VR Websites

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.


The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) assists state and local education agencies and VR agencies and service providers, and it keeps close contact with these agencies and providers in order to share real stories of real youth being supported in transition programs. Alaska and Nevada are just two of the states that are creating programs to help youth with disabilities transition into a work environment.

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