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(577 results for Vocational Rehabilitation Services)

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Studies show most adults with mental illness want to work and about six out of 10 will succeed with appropriate support systems. Barriers to employment exist within the clients themselves, in interpersonal relations with others or in coexisting medical and psychological conditions. Barriers also stem from society, a scarcity of lower level jobs and prejudice against employing people with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. Research has shown other factors such as cultural differences, physical disabilities, criminal record, mental instability and a lack of a high school education or equivalency further decrease the likelihood of employment.

In general terms, vocational rehabilitation (VR) provides individualized services and support to people with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive and emotional impairments or medical disabilities. Traditional vocational services emphasize esteem building, adjustment to social conditions, comprehensive assessment, skill building and basic education. In a VR model, an individual works closely with a VR counselor throughout the process, with an end goal of obtaining or retaining employment. Active and collaborative participation in rehabilitation affords a greater level of independence at work and home.

Eligibility and Access to VR Services

An individual must be at least age 16, unemployed or underemployed and have a physical or mental disability resulting in a substantial barrier to employment. This includes psychiatric disorders, alcohol and other drug abuse dependence, attention deficit disorders, specific learning disabilities and physical and sensory disabilities. Most vocational rehabilitation services are free for eligible applicants. Applicants may be asked to use other benefits to help pay for program services, such as insurance or financial aid earmarked for higher education or training.

VR services may be offered by private organizations, however, they are typically not covered under managed care plans. Therefore, most people apply to state vocational rehabilitation programs funded by federal and state sources. The services and delivery systems vary by state. Individuals seeking services must investigate availability and apply for existing VR programs in their own states. The U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration has jurisdiction over the federal component, authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and amended in the 1988 reauthorization.

VR Core Components

Individual choice: Services are customized to match an individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice.

Integrated setting: Places individuals in traditional employment situations rather than sheltered workshops or other segregated settings.

Natural supports: Leverages an individual’s already existing support network including family members, service providers and friends who can help the person reach a goal, such as securing employment of his or her choice.

Person-centered planning: A team consisting of the person and his or her natural supports develops a practical plan based on the person’s wishes and dreams.

Rapid placement: This boosts self-confidence and limits gaps in employment which could result in applicants losing work skills as a consequence of inactivity.

Career development: In the context of VR, career development services should strengthen an individual’s ability to choose, obtain, and maintain good jobs in accordance with his or her long-term career goals.

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More on Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Studies show most adults with mental illness want to work and about six out of 10 will succeed with appropriate support systems. Barriers to employment exist within the clients themselves, in interpersonal relations with others or in coexisting medical and psychological conditions. Barriers also stem from society, a scarcity of lower level jobs and prejudice against employing people with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. Research has shown other factors such as cultural differences, physical disabilities, criminal record, mental instability and a lack of a high school education or equivalency further decrease the likelihood of employment.

In general terms, vocational rehabilitation (VR) provides individualized services and support to people with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive and emotional impairments or medical disabilities. Traditional vocational services emphasize esteem building, adjustment to social conditions, comprehensive assessment, skill building and basic education. In a VR model, an individual works closely with a VR counselor throughout the process, with an end goal of obtaining or retaining employment. Active and collaborative participation in rehabilitation affords a greater level of independence at work and home.

Eligibility and Access to VR Services

An individual must be at least age 16, unemployed or underemployed and have a physical or mental disability resulting in a substantial barrier to employment. This includes psychiatric disorders, alcohol and other drug abuse dependence, attention deficit disorders, specific learning disabilities and physical and sensory disabilities. Most vocational rehabilitation services are free for eligible applicants. Applicants may be asked to use other benefits to help pay for program services, such as insurance or financial aid earmarked for higher education or training.

VR services may be offered by private organizations, however, they are typically not covered under managed care plans. Therefore, most people apply to state vocational rehabilitation programs funded by federal and state sources. The services and delivery systems vary by state. Individuals seeking services must investigate availability and apply for existing VR programs in their own states. The U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration has jurisdiction over the federal component, authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and amended in the 1988 reauthorization.

VR Core Components

Individual choice: Services are customized to match an individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice.

Integrated setting: Places individuals in traditional employment situations rather than sheltered workshops or other segregated settings.

Natural supports: Leverages an individual’s already existing support network including family members, service providers and friends who can help the person reach a goal, such as securing employment of his or her choice.

Person-centered planning: A team consisting of the person and his or her natural supports develops a practical plan based on the person’s wishes and dreams.

Rapid placement: This boosts self-confidence and limits gaps in employment which could result in applicants losing work skills as a consequence of inactivity.

Career development: In the context of VR, career development services should strengthen an individual’s ability to choose, obtain, and maintain good jobs in accordance with his or her long-term career goals.

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