What Is Vocational Rehabilitation?
Vocational rehabilitation can bebroadly defined as assistance that is given to people withmental, physical or emotional disabilities. These disabilities are such that the person cannot find or hold a job in ordinary circumstances. They require specialized training and often rely solely on these rehabilitation services for their employment needs.
The field of vocational rehabilitation has undergone tremendous change over the past few years. Students can now opt for associate degree or diploma courses in vocational care and rehabilitation. A number of steps have been taken to reduce waiting periods, upgrade testing and training procedures as well as improve funding. There have been an overwhelming number of success stories- in fact; recent statistics show that nearly 83% of disabled people have been successfully rehabilitated.
The US Federal government has a number of vocationally rehabilitated people operating in key positions. In fact, New York recently got its first legally blind governor! This is an immensely positive step forward for disabled people and the vocational rehabilitation process.
Section 504 And What It Means
An important part of vocational rehabilitation is something called Section 504. In its full form, it is known as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It states that the national law will protect all qualified individuals from being discriminated against because of their disability. This has been a valuable tool for many people, as discrimination often happens in the workplace, hospitals and in educational institutions. If you legally qualify under the Rehabilitation Act and believe that you are being discriminated against, you can certainly seek legal advice and make a case for yourself.
When it comes to rehabilitation services, many people have questions about Social Security benefits. To find out whether you qualify, just ask yourself these simple questions-
1. Are you working for less than $860 a month?
2. Is your condition so severe that it affects your work?
3. Could you work normally in the place of previous employment?
4. Can you do any other kind of work?
You should also take a look at theist of impairments that Social Security has prepared to see whether you qualify for benefits.
Another common question people ask about vocational rehabilitation is how quickly can I get back to work? Unfortunately, it's not as simple as just applying for a job. First, you'll have to meet with a counsellor to make a career plan for yourself. This includes an assessment of what your goals and skill sets are. Other factors like transportation and willingness to move are also considered. The more flexible you are, the greater the chances of finding good employment. As you get a clearer idea of the kinds of jobs you'd like to pursue, your counsellor will be able to provide you with information regarding training and job openings. In some cases, basic tools, uniforms, accommodation and training programs are also organized.
There area number of different kinds of rehabilitation plans available, depending on your skill set and disability. In general, you can expect free diagnosis, assessment and job placement assistance. Interpreter and reading services, family services, access to higher education and job training are also available. Depending on your ability and needs, you'll be able to find a vocational rehabilitation service that can help you take the first step towards financial independence.
About the author:
Peter Kent is the best-selling author of 50 books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.