Any Voc/Rehab experiences?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DDD, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I need to find out exactly what might be available through that agency and the head representative in this District is a double talking, vague promising government worker!! For over a year they have been volunteering to help little difficult child (now 18 and soon to graduate from H.S.). They have us come in for meetings that basically repeat "we will be seeking ways to serve you as a client"....then nada.

    Yesterday the lady called difficult child (who has Aspergers and NO social skills to speak of) and verified "he is still interested in getting services". Check. She told him "we will be seeking ways to serve you". Check. She told him it is a long process. Finally......after ten minutes on the phone difficult child slammed the phone down to end the call. :(

    She telephoned me to relay the above and had the audacity to say "you know we do NOT have to serve any clients who can not be polite and cooperative". :tongue:

    I just couldn't sweet talk. Politely and with a stable soft voice I basically said I was sorry he chose to be rude. on the other hand he and I have been having meetings for over a year with "the Department" and the only thing that has been specifically accomplished was the requiredevaluation..which required he give up four days of his five day spring break AND ended up being faulty.

    Does anyone know (or know of a specific site that knows) what possible types of help I can aim for? I think we are in a lose-lose situtation and I am running out of energy. DDD
  2. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Hey, DDD,

    Up here, we have Northwestern Human Services. I could *swear* they were countrywide, but all I could find is PA. Maybe you could look in the phone book, just to see if they have them there. They handle babies all the way through adult hood - BHRS services, psychological, psychiatric, residential for adults, etc. They are Autism SPECIFIC.

    Here's a link I found, not sure if they are close to you or even appropriate, but maybe they'll help?
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Janna. It was really kind of you to take time finding some possible resources. After all these decades of advocating for various children I "think" that maybe I anticipated that Voc/Rehab would offer some direction. Your post reminded me that "the system" doesn't
    reacts. Guess time for me to get back on my horse. :redface: Thanks for redirecting my thought process. DDD
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Have you done a search for transitional services? It seems like I ran across a list of some things available out there that didn't apply to my son. I'll see if I can find it again.
  5. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Geez, DDD, I can't even imagine what you're going through. I've been thinking, now, for Dylan (and he's only 12 LOL) what he's going to do later on. We are gearing up now (6th grade) for his admission to VoTech (9th grade) because the schools, they offer me *nothing*. It's disgusting.

    So, I'm not surprised that you have to do the searching. You're right, it's sad. Maybe the powers that be will surprise you. difficult child must be frustrated as well.

    I hope something I sent you may be helpful. Good luck.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I found this list- I think you were only referring to helping him get adjusted job wise or vocational wise- not with independent living, correct?

    Vocational Evaluation and Assessment
    Career Counseling
    Job seeking/job retention counseling
    Access to job searching tools and resources
    Training Programs (Supported Employment,
    On-the-Job Training, Unpaid Work Experience)
    Post-Secondary Education Programs
    Job Placement
    Follow-along services after placement
    Driver Evaluation
    Rehabilitation Technology/Accommodations
    Post-Secondary Education Rehabilitation
    Transition (PERT)
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    DDD, has difficult child been evaluated by the Division of Developmental Disabilities?

    This is the info from our state.

    Welcome to VR!
    When you become a VR consumer, your rehabilitation plan will focus on your abilities and new possibilities. The goal is gainful employment!

    Applying for vocational services may be your own idea, or services may be recommended by family members or:
    • Teachers or guidance counselors
    • Doctors or other health professionals
    • Mental health professionals
    • Counselors or professionals from the judicial system
    If you have ever wondered how you could benefit from a vocational rehabilitation program and what your employment options are, remember that the VR staff are ready to answer your questions and assist you in the application process.

    Who is Eligible?

    You are eligible for VR services if:
    • You have a physical, mental, learning disability, or emotional impairment that affects your ability to find or maintain employment, and
    • You require VR services to get ready for, find or keep a job
    You and your rehabilitation counselor will develop a partnership and explore your options throughout the rehabilitation process.

    The Interview

    During the interview you will learn about the vocational rehabilitation program and, if you choose to apply for services, you may complete an application.

    To meet your individual needs, your VR counselor will need some background information on your disability. During your initial interview, you may be asked to:
    • Provide medical records. (If you have been referred to VR by a doctor or another professional, you may have been given these records and asked to bring them to your interview.)
    • Sign a release form so your counselor may obtain this important information.
    • Have a medical, psychological, vocational, or other evaluation that will be arranged by your counselor.
    You and your rehabilitation counselor will develop a partnership and explore your options throughout the rehabilitation process.

    Your First VR Appointment

    During your first appointment, you will meet with a VR staff member who will spend time getting to know you and learning about your needs, desires and challenges.

    Your VR counselor will:
    • Guide you through each phase of the process
    • Explain the eligibility requirements for VR services
    • Help you plan and meet your goals
    • Follow federal and state policy while enabling you to use VR services
    Once you and, if necessary, your parent or guardian have signed the application for services, the rehabilitation process begins. With your help, your counselor will review existing medical information and make a determination on your eligibility, usually within 60 days.


    Again, you are eligible for VR services if:
    • You have a physical, mental, learning disability, or emotional impairment that affects your ability to find or maintain employment, and
    • You require VR services to get ready for, to find, or to keep a job
    If you are eligible, you and your counselor will identify your individual needs, interests, vocational aptitudes, and how you think and learn in order to develop your Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE). Many supporting services may be available to help in these areas. In your IPE, you and your counselor will determine the responsibilities that each of you will have and the length of time that services should last.
    Preliminary Assessment

    An Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE) will be developed when you are eligible. During this stage, you and your counselor will plan what to do in order for you to successfully find a job.

    Developing Your Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE)

    Your plan will include the following:
    • Your vocational objectives
    • Services
    • Counselor comments
    • Yours and your counselor’s responsibilities
    • Your input, and
    • The IPE handbook
    Your Vocational Goal

    This is the type of work or job that you and your counselor have agreed upon and plan to achieve as the focus of your IPE.

    The Objectives

    This part of your plan identifies:
    • Actions that need to be taken to provide support or overcome
    • Limitations resulting from your disability
    • The desired results of these actions
    • The way your progress will be measured
    • How often the actions will be reviewed, and
    • When the goal should be reached
    The Services

    Vocational rehabilitation offers four major services—
    • Job Placement
    • Guidance and Counseling
    • Restoration
    • Training
    • Post-employment support
    Many supporting services are available in each of these areas. In this part of your plan, you and your counselor will determine who is responsible for providing your rehabilitative services and how long these services should last.

    Counselor Comments

    Your counselor will complete this section to explain how you both, in partnership, agreed upon your vocational goal.

    Your Responsibilities

    The part you play in completing the plan is most important. Your responsibilities will be clearly identified. Your counselor will work with you to be sure you understand what you are responsible for and how to meet your goals.

    Client Statement

    Your opinion about your plan is very important. The client statement is your opportunity to comment in your own words.

    The Handbook

    Your counselor will go over the handbook with you, answer your questions and ask you to sign a statement saying that you received the book and understand the contents.

    The Goal

    If you have never worked or cannot return to the kind of work you have done in the past, you may benefit from help with identifying different types of jobs that are related to your abilities. In this case, your counselor will make some recommendations based on the evaluations or tests you have taken and the interests you have expressed in previous steps. You may change your goal later but it is best to have a good idea from the start if possible. Your plan will identify what services you need to achieve your goal of successful employment.


    As outlined in your plan, VR services may last from a few months to several years, depending on your individual needs. Services can be provided by:
    • Your VR counselor and other VR staff
    • Community rehabilitation programs
    • Community colleges and universities
    • Treatment centers
    • Mental health centers
    Your plan will identify what services you need to achieve your goal of successful employment. The following services will be offered at no cost to you, if needed, to meet your vocational goal:
    • Testing, evaluations and further assessments needed for planning
    • Guidance and counseling
    • Rehabilitation engineering services
    • Interpreter services
    • Supported employment services
    • Job-seeking skills training
    • Job placement and follow-up
    If needed to meet your vocational goal, the following services may be provided, depending on your income level:
    • Training for job skills
    • Community rehabilitation program training
    • Medical services such as hospital care or psychiatric treatment
    • Books, maintenance and transportation services while you are in training
    • Services to family members
    • Telecommunication, sensory and other technological aids and devices
    • Other related goods and services
    Making Use Of Resources

    As your counselor will explain to you, VR funds are not used when other resources, such as insurance or grants are available. Your plan will outline how to make the best use of all available resources.

    Client Assistance Program

    If a problem arises that you and your counselor cannot resolve at any time during the vocational rehabilitation process, you may contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP)

    The goal of this program is to assist you in understanding and using rehabilitation services. You can reach the CAP staff at (919)XXXXXX.

    Facts about an administrative review and appeals hearing:
    • You must submit a written request for an appeals hearing.
    • The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services must hold a hearing within forty-five (45) days unless both parties agree to an extension.
    • Your written request must state whether you want an administrative review (an informal review) and an appeals hearing or an appeals hearing only.
    • There must be a clear statement of what you want to appeal.
    Participation in an administrative review is not required before an appeals hearing. However, in many cases your concern may be resolved in an administrative review alone. The administrative review will not delay the appeals hearing.

    The CAP staff can:
    • Answer your questions about VR
    • Work with you and your counselor to solve problems
    • Advise you on how to appeal decisions that remain unsolved following informal discussions
    • Direct you to other resources as necessary
    • Answer your questions about VR
    • Work with you and your counselor to solve problems
    • Advise you on how to appeal decisions that remain unsolved following informal discussions
    • Direct you to other resources as necessary
    It is your responsibility to express concerns and/or satisfaction and participate during the entire VR process. Communication is often the key to a successful job match.


    You and your VR counselor will be partners throughout the rehabilitation process. It is your responsibility to work with your counselor in planning and completing your rehabilitation plan. Your counselor will assist you in making informed choices related to your objectives and the services you will receive.

    What If?
    • If you move anywhere in the state, your counselor can transfer your records to the office closest to your new residence.
    • If you move out of state, your counselor may not always have to close your case record but, if necessary, can give you information about contacting Vocational Rehabilitation in the state where you move.
    • If you decide to take a job without the assistance of VR services, please contact your counselor.
    • If you cannot complete your plan for other reasons, please call or meet with your counselor to discuss your situation.
    The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation receives guidance from the Vocational Rehabilitation Council, a group of citizens from across the state who are appointed by the Governor,

    Many of the council members are individuals with disabilities who have received vocational rehabilitation services themselves and understand your special needs. They are also members of disability advocacy groups and representatives of rehabilitation hospitals, community rehabilitation programs, labor and industry, and employers

    If you qualify for services, you and your counselor will design a program to meet your needs. Together, you will work to achieve the goal of gainful employment.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    No, Fran, he has not been involved with daughter people at all. Truthfully these are all the steps we have been guided to and completed:

    1. Inquiry about services available initiated by DDD.
    2. Appointment a meet and greet with a brochure handed to us
    and more or less read to us that has the steps for VR.
    3. Appointment #2...reiteration of #1 and told that since VR is part of the Department of Education that with a signature all info would be reviewed to help focus on a goal.
    4. Appointment #3...reiteration of #1 and #2 and #3. New?? Question to difficult child "What would you like to do after graduation?" difficult child replies I would like to go to medical school and become a Doctor. DDD thinks "OMG" but stays quiet. VR counselor says "That's a wonderful goal." DDD thinks OMG! VR counselor says "how do you two think we could help difficult child at this time?" difficult child says I want to learn how to drive. VR counselor says "Oh, you don't know how to drive?" difficult child says "I know how but I can't do it without making people nervous and almost crashing." VR says "oh, my".
    I jump in and say "perhaps your department could locate someone who could ride with difficult child so he gets driving experience without the nervousness
    of having a family member in the car?" VR lady says "I'll write that down in his file. I don't think so, though, because we have never done that before." When she asks "anything else", I reply "difficult child needs social interaction as his social skills are poor. Is there access to a social skills group through VR? Is it possible to have a mentor to help with social skills before he graduates?" We'll talk next meeting, replies VR lady. Yikes!
    5. Next appointment. More regurgitation of previous. Vague No responses to the two suggestions or requests but the cavaet that difficult child MUST have a full evaluation before trying to set goals.
    6. Four days of evaluation and then the report that stipulates difficult child did not show up for a meeting he was told to attend the day after the evaluation was through. (difficult child didn't "get" that there was a meeting and I was not contacted.) Report included totally nuts results that anyone would have known to be bogus. On the last day the evaluator told him "you can leave as soon as you are through" and difficult child was eager to go to his Moms house.
    He sped thru the tests that showed he was on a lst or 2nd grade level in some areas. That was accepted as valid by the evaluator. difficult child at that time had over a 3 point average which included algebra. :surprise:
    7. After review of the report and taking a couple of days to chill I wrote
    my response to the totally faulty report and called the VR counselor to tell her that I had written a response to prevent faulty info being part of his permanent file. She responded "oh, I think you did the right thing".
    8. We have had three phone calls since then. Each time she tells me that "difficult child is now at the top of the list for services which is surprising"
    (I assume due to my letter???) "we need to move on to the next step"
    ..................and then NO next step or list of possible next steps.

    Now she's chapped off because difficult child doesn't have any social skills and hung up the phone on her as she repeated all the above with no info.

    I'm not sure whether to independently search for help via the Autism route, via my own gut, or hope that they get on the ball. This is so frustrating as difficult child is on a lower functioning level already after living with his Mom. It will be sad if he just slips through the fingers of the VR and ends up bringing in bucks to his Moms house with no future. :anxious: DDD
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    DDD, if difficult child has an AS diagnosis, going the through the Dept of Health & Human Services developmental disability dept may be the route to try. They seem to have a lot of services.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yes he does have the AS designation. I'm a bit hesitant to contact another agency because in this small town everyone knows what everyone is doing AND due to recent budget cuts I get the very very strong impression that Mrs. VR is eager to cut difficult child off her list.

    I'm going to try to find out what's available without my direct involvement.
    Truly I am "not feelin' it". Once he went to GFGmom he began to backslide and it's really hard for me to get in full advocacy gear.

    Thank everyone. DDD