Vocational Rehabilitation: What You Need to Know
This is a process during which rehabilitative amenities are provided to individuals with disabilities to enable them to hone skills required in the job market and life as a whole. Vocational rehabilitation comprises a series of services to facilitate the return to or entrance into work by people having disabilities or by people who’ve recently acquired a disability or injury. People with the most serious disabilities in work skills, work tolerance, communication, and mobility are prioritized.
Vocational rehabilitation programs are federally-funded, state-run programs and offer a wide range of services. These include vocational evaluation and assessment, refresher courses, training, upgrading of general skills, career counseling, employment searches, on-the-job training, and consulting with existing or potential employers. As these are individualized programs, services might vary depending on the needs of an individual.
To qualify for vocational rehabilitation services, an individual must have a mental or physical condition that presents a significant barrier to their employment and be able to benefit from the services so that they can get a job. Individuals who receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) automatically become eligible for vocational rehabilitation unless they’re too disabled to benefit by participating in such a program.
To apply for vocational rehabilitation services, an individual needs to contact the agency in their state that conducts the program. In some states, the department of vocational rehabilitation falls under the department of education, while in others, it comes under the health and human services agency. Recent graduates or college students can check out the WRP (Workforce Recruitment Program) to find permanent or temporary positions in a wide range of job fields.
Vocational rehabilitation programs and counselors can also help individuals who want to start their small businesses. They can help the person do the market research and to develop a business plan.
If someone wants to return to school, they might be eligible for a scholarship from the university or college they attend. However, if someone accepts a vocational rehabilitation scholarship, the person is required to work for a public rehabilitation program. For each one year of full-time scholarship money, the person needs to work for two years for the program.
Several programs are eligible for vocational rehabilitation scholarships. These include rehabilitation administration, rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation psychology, rehabilitation technology, rehabilitation of individuals with a mental illness, vocational evaluation, and work adjustment, undergraduate education in rehabilitation services, etc.