The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is available in every state. It is a program of state government helping those who are disabled to achieve a lifestyle of independence and integration within the workplace, the family, and the local community. Funding is provided by State and Federal funds. Eligibility includes a physical or mental disability that would keep a person from obtaining suitable employment, or achieving a lifestyle of independence and dignity. Disability also includes those who struggle with learning disabilities.
Services offered include evaluation, counseling and guidance, vocational training, physical restoration, and job placement. Vocational Rehabilitation is the employment service unit specifically designed to train individuals. Eligibility criteria vary from state to state. However, generally they pay for services to obtain and keep a job. Evaluation is done to assess the nature and degree of disability, job skills and capabilities. Vocational training may also be provided at a technical and trade school, business school or college, transportation, books, driving lessons, tutoring, assistance with finding employment, and on the job training. Services are determined on an individual basis and provided based upon the individual’s abilities and employment goals. The agency acts as advocates for persons who are disabled, providing services to improve the employability of people with disabilities.
This is particularly important for students who receive any special education services, as they are vital to special education transitional needs. They help the student by advocating with the college or university of choice to assist with services at the school such as the learning center, testing accommodations, etc.
Students should contact the Division of Rehabilitation Services listed in your state. You may also check with your high school counselor for contact information of a DRS counselor. Also, on the Internet search engines you can type in your states name and Division of Rehabilitation Services for the DRS office in your location.