Oregon Commission for the Blind Student Honored with Dean’s Award

AmyRose

AmyRose with her “Dean’s Award of Excellence.”

AmyRose is finishing up community college and hopes to transfer to a 4-year college in the fall. In May, the dean of Clackamas Community College honored Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) student AmyRose Bonano with the Dean’s Award. Over 50 people — staff, family, and fellow students — gathered on May 29 for an inspiring ceremony via Zoom.

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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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Teamwork Makes the Dream Job Work

Daniel Robertson
by Lamisse Williams, Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR) Counselor


Meet Daniel Robertson, a management information systems student at the University of Idaho who recently obtained his second paid summer internship at HP.

Daniel worked with counselors at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho who informed him about how the university offers students on the autism spectrum a ray of support services through their Raven Scholars Program. This is how Daniel first heard about HP’s Spectrum Success Hiring Program.

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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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Success Stories: Kelsey Redding

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

Vocational rehabilitation helps student gain confidence and discover passion for public speaking

Kelsey Redding

By Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation
(part of the Adult Learning & Rehabilitation Services, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)


Kelsey Redding wasn’t sure if Missouri’s vocational rehabilitation was right for her when she first became aware of the program. She had been going through a difficult time in her life, living first with a friend and then with a married couple who worked as teachers at her high school. She had no confidence she would even be able to get a job.

However, Kelsey persisted and participated in a VR work experience during the summer between her junior and senior years at East Carter High School in Ellsinore, Missouri. She started out as a shelf stocker at a Town & Country grocery store then moved up to working as a checker.

“Having a job felt really good,” she said, “especially saving money up for a car.”

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Then and Now: VR Partnership with Business Expands

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

KwikTrip Staff

Posted by:
Kathy West-Evans: Director of Business Relations, CSAVR
Christopher Pope, RSA


OSERS’ Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) partnered with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in 2018 to highlight the partnership between state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and Kwik Trip, a convenience store company with roots in the Midwest.

The partnership with Kwik Trip is a positive example of how the VR program serves a dual customer—both individuals with disabilities and business.

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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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Adapting to Evolving Employment Needs in Ohio During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)

By Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)


Throughout its 100-year existence, the nation’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) program has continually adapted and evolved to meet changing public needs. This spirit is certainly evident today, as state VR agencies respond to the rapidly shifting employment landscape triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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