After your special needs kid completes high school or college, an organization that can help your child find employment is the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), which has been in existence since 1917.
According to its website, VR is a federal-state program that works with people who have physical or mental disabilities to prepare for, gain, or retain employment. Its goal to assist people with disabilities find meaningful careers. Examples of VR services are medical and psychological assessment, vocational evaluation and planning, career counseling and guidance, training and education after high school, job-site assessment and accommodations, job placement, job coaching, on-the-job training, supported employment, assistive technology and devices, and time-limited medical and/or psychological treatment.
A VR program that is relevant to your special needs kid is the School to Work Program. This involves a number of activities that help students enter training, continue education, and/or work after finishing high school. Students 16 to 22 years old who are still in high school or individuals 16 to 24 years old who have exited high school are eligible for this transitional program. Other VR programs include Deaf, Hard of Hearing; Ticket to Work; and Independent Living.
This columnist is a VR client. VR may give your child the resources he or she needs to gain employment. Orlando is in VR’s Area III. The local office’s address is 3191 Maguire Blvd. in Orlando. For more information about VR, go to http://www.rehabworks.org.