The state of Alabama helps its deserving residents through various programs. To help the disabled individuals of the state, it has established services that make their lives easier. However, that’s not the only thing the state has done. With the help of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the largest division has been set up to provide the Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The goal of this program is to help the disabled Alabamians with employment. This encourages the aspect of both self-sufficiency as well as independence.
Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation Service (also known as VRS), provides assistance to teens and adults with disabilities. This assistance is given in hopes of them becoming employed. For this purpose, it includes specialized employment as well as education-related services and training. This can help them to get in line with the expectations of the employers and thus, earn a living. To achieve this goal, VRS cannot work alone. Therefore, it has certain partners and collaborators who help in the assistance for disabled individuals. This includes:
- The State Department of Education
- Local School Systems
- Technical Schools
- Community Colleges
- Four-year colleges
These partners help the VRS in empowering the Alabamians with their secondary and post-secondary education. They also prove helpful in making their transition to employment a smooth one. They are able to achieve these goals by developing statewide school-to-work, post-secondary, and adult life programs. By teaching them the skills required for self-sufficiency, VRS hopes to achieve what it has set out for.
The services that the VRS offer may differ person-to-person. This is because each person requires their own set of needs. To meet these needs, VRS has to customize its services and cater to them in the best way possible. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services has set up 20 VRS offices statewide. These offices help to provide the following listed services to the applicants of the program:
- Educational Services
- Vocational Assessment
- Evaluation and counseling
- Job training
- Assistive technology
- Orientation and mobility training
- Job placement
VRS has been set up to help the disabled residents of Alabama. It is a program with limited funds, which means it cannot cater to everyone. To ensure that its services are used for deserving candidates, a criterion has been established. This criterion outlines the requirements of the program which helps it to set apart the eligible applicants from the rest. It helps them to receive the proper help they require as well in the most accessible manner. Therefore, to be accessible for the services offered by VRS, a person must first and foremost be:
- A resident of the state of Alabama
- A U.S. citizen or a qualified alien
Besides these basic requirements, the eligibility criteria state that:
- The individuals must have a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from being employed
- There must be evidence that the person can benefit from the services in terms of employment. If not evidence, then there must at least be a reasonable expectation. This is important to ensure that the rehabilitation services actually prove beneficial.
If the applicants are already getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) then they become automatically eligible for the Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation program.
How to Apply
The application process can be started by contacting the ADRS, that is, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. They have a contact us page where the applicants can enter their basic information (name, email, county of residence) with the short message, which will put you in contact with an official representative. The representative will then guide you through the application process as well as any possible interview. They may require documents related to the medical diagnosis you have in order to check the eligibility level. They have to ensure these aspects so that the limited funds they have can be allocated appropriately. Once the applicant gets eligible for the services then vocational rehabilitation offers job counseling, physical and mental rehabilitation, vocational training to get job and technical assistance. In addition to that the Vocational Rehabilitation agency also provides transportation help, technology assistance and personal assistance.
For Further Information
Interested individuals can simply contact the ADRS in case of any queries or confusion. They have a website that can be contacted easily from the comfort of their homes. If any individual is not comfortable with contacting over email, they can also mail, phone, fax or visit. The contact for the ADRS is given along with their toll-free number (800-441-7607).
To ensure that individuals do not face any problem in visiting their office, they also have driving directions. These can be accessed through their website.