Accessing Resources and Services
The term "Adult Service Programs" refers to those state and local agencies that fund, manage, and provide employment service for adults with disabilities. These agencies include the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Work One, Workforce Development and private not-for-profit rehabilitation agencies. Not-for-profit rehabilitation agencies provide a wide range of services including employment, on-the-job training, transportation services, community support services, family support services, etc.
Application Procedure for Adult Services
Most adult service agencies require separate, but similar applications. However, the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) use the same application for individuals with developmental disabilities. (If an individual is interested only in residential services, he / she can apply directly to BDDS.) Formal or informal interviews are often part of the application procedure. The basic information that parents / guardians will need to have for many of these agencies include:
- Individual's Social Security Card or State I. D. Card
- Individual's Birth Certificate or Baptismal Record
- Medical records including names, addresses, and telephone numbers of relevant doctors, clinics and hospitals
- Current physician's signed statement for clearance
- Copy of most current psychological evaluation if available
- Health insurance policy numbers or group members copy of Medicaid / Medicare card
- List of current medications
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of teachers or "Case Managers" from other agencies such as social security, BDDS, VR, or other adult service providers
- Copies of relevant written correspondence with state or local agencies
- School records including vocational history, resume
- Documentation with physician's signature of results of current Mantoux test
Although each agency may not require all of the information, having it all together will save time and energy. Adult service agency representatives often need access to student medical records and history, student and family income and expenses, and information regarding agencies that currently serve the student. It is necessary to collect this information in order to determine eligibility, provide appropriate services, and follow the student's progress toward meeting his or her vocational goal. All information is kept confidential.
Services provided through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program can include but are not limited to:
- An assessment to determine eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs
- Work related placement services, (i.e. job search, job placement, job retention, personal assistance, follow-along services)
- Past employment services, (i.e. to maintain, regain, or advance in employment)
- Vocational or other training services, (i.e. personal and vocational adjustment, books, or other training materials, and services to the family if necessary for rehabilitation)
- Physical and mental restoration services, (i.e. corrective surgery, or therapy for conditions which are stable or slowly progressive, related to hospitalization, artificial limbs or braces, prescribed eyeglasses, hearing aids, and diagnosis and treatment for mental and emotional disorders)
- Maintenance for additional basic living costs which result from program participation
- Interpreter services (for hearing impaired)
- Reader services, rehabilitation teaching services, and orientation mobility services (for visually impaired)
- Transportation in connection with receiving any VR service
- Telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices
- Rehabilitation technology services
- Referral to other programs and service providers
- Transition services to assist in the transition from school-to-work
- Supported employment services and other related personal assistance provided while VR services are being received
The individual will not necessarily qualify to receive every service available through the VR program. The individual and the VR counselor will decide which of these services best meets the individual's needs.
Application and Eligibility to Participate in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program:
If you are interested in knowing more about the VR program, you may contact the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for your county to schedule an appointment. At that meeting you will meet with a VR counselor, fill out an application for services and determine what information is required in order to determine your eligibility.
This should be done no later than the first semester of the individual's last year in high school.