Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-employment transition services are intended for secondary school students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are defined as 1) students in an IEP or 504 plan, and 2) still in school district services.

Any student or youth with a disability may be eligible. Transition services, as defined under the Rehabilitation Act, are provided to all eligible students and youth with disabilities.

This includes students within the special education system, as well as youth within the general education system. Students and youth with disabilities who are transitioning from state and local juvenile rehabilitation institutions and community programs also may be eligible for DVR transition services.

Secondary students who receive DVR transition services also usually have either Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or 504 Plans. Others with medical or emotional conditions  who don’t    have IEP or 504 Plans may also qualify for DVR services.

Examples of the range of possibilities include:

  • conditions such as hearing loss, difficult speech, asthma/allergies, physical limitations that preclude them from some activities, emotional, or mental health conditions

  • impairments in social interactions

  • learning disabilities

  • cognitive limitations

  • intellectual disabilities

  • students who need reasonable accommodations to participate in classroom and learning activities    

  • a mental health diagnosis

  • Youth that schools identify as high risk who may have disabilities not yet identified
     

There is a presumption of eligibility for DVR services, if the student or youth is currently receiving and/or is entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for disability or blindness, and intends to become employed. DVR is required to    verify disability status and identify functional limitations.

In other words, a person must have a disability that interferes with the ability to work and must need vocational rehabilitation services to obtain or maintain employment. A person is presumed to be able to become employed unless DVR has clear and convincing evidence that the person cannot become employed.

First, it is important to understand why there have been changes. Public Vocational Rehabilitation  programs nationally are funded federally through the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. VR programs also receive about  one state dollar for every four federal dollars. Every so often that law is changed/improved or amended.

About a decade ago the Rehabilitation Act was rolled into the larger Workforce Act, then referred to as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). As of the recent 2014 amendments, the law is now referred to as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Rehabilitation Act was reauthorized with WIOA as Title IV of WIOA.