Working with Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Most of us go to work–some of us right out
of high school and some a little later. Need some support to get a job? Indiana Vocational
Rehabilitation Services may be able to help! Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services,
sometimes referred to as just VR, is an employment program for high school students
and adults with disabilities. If you have an identified physical, mental health, or
learning disability, VR can help you gain skills, find a job, start your first career,
or discover a new one. VR can even help you if you already have a job but are struggling
to keep it because of your disability. First, you need to be Referred to VR so they
know you’re interested in their services. We’ll talk more about referral in a minute. Next, you’ll meet with a VR counselor to
complete an Application. She will then see if you are Eligible for
VR services. Bring any relevant medical information about your disability to your first appointment.
Your counselor may also ask you to participate in some evaluations. Don’t worry: VR will
pay for any medical or other type of evaluation they might need in order to determine your
eligibility. Once your counselor determines your eligibility,
you’ll work together to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment, or IPE. You may also
do some activities to learn about different types of careers and what works best for you. With your IPE guiding you, you’ll work with
your counselor and possibly with other service providers on things like writing a resume,
interviewing skills, and on actually searching for a job.
The last step in the process is Case Closure. That happens after you’ve found a job, worked
there for at least 90 days, and you and your counselor agree that things are going well. You’re eligible if you have a physical or
mental condition that makes it difficult for you to work AND if VR sees that you need and
could benefit from VR services. Yes, even then. VR helps people with lots
of different disabilities, like: autism,
back injuries and other physical impairments, Down syndrome,
cerebral palsy, or Parkinson’s. They also help:
people who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired, and
people with less obvious challenges like learning disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder,
traumatic brain injury, or bi-polar disorder. Anyone can refer you to VR. Teachers and family
members will often make a referral for a high school student. You can even refer yourself
by contacting your local Indiana VR office. That will depend on what you need. Services
may include but aren’t necessarily limited to:
vocational guidance and counseling, job placement assistance,
training and education, medical services to correct or modify a physical
or mental health challenge, assistive technology, including devices like
speech-to-text software or special keyboard or screen readers for your computer. There’s no charge for VR services. However,
VR does use other funding from things like insurance, Medicaid, or Federal Student Aid
to help pay for certain costs. Contact your VR counselor. If appropriate,
she can reopen your case. You can work together to find out what went wrong–if anything–and
find another job. When you come to VR, you’ll tell your counselor
about your interests, strengths, and anything you think you might need to be successful
at work. You’ll also help your VR counselor create
your Individualized Plan for Employment. And you’ll need to make some choices about your
job goals,what kind of work you’d like to do, indoors or outdoors?, and whether you’d
like to work with a team or on your own. Be prepared to answer questions and to ask some
of your own. Indiana VR has several local offices around
the state. You can find an Office Directory online at the link shown here OR pick up information about VR at your high school guidance office, the office of disability services
at your college, or your local WorkOne office.

6 thoughts on “Working with Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services

  1. Check out this video on Vocational Rehabilitation services in Indiana.  Very informative, particularly if you or someone you know has a disability and needs help finding or keeping a job or starting a career!  Fun to watch, too!

  2. Love this video. Use it every time I send out an application information questionnaire to new consumers. Wondering if there is a video with CC for the hearing impaired or deaf.

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