Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is part of the Florida Department of Education and provides services in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act. VR’s mission is "to help people with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence."

In addition to its general employment program, VR accomplishes its mission through the following specific programs:

Transition Youth Program helps students with disabilities train for a job, continue their education, or find a job after high school. Under this program, every youth will have the opportunity to participate in career counseling, work readiness training and fully integrated work experiences in the community. These services are provided while youth are still in high school and establish the foundation for a seamless transition to individualized training, education and employment. More information about the VR Transition Youth Program is available here.
  • Types of VR assistance while in high school include:
    • Medical & Psychological Assessment
    • Vocational Evaluation & Planning
    • Career Counseling & Guidance
    • Work Readiness Training
    • Work Experiences
  • Types of VR assistance after exiting high school include:
    • Workplace Accommodations
    • Job Placement
    • Job Coaching
    • On-the-Job Training
    • Supported Employment
    • Assistive Technology & Devices
    • Time-Limited Medical and/or Psychological Treatment

STAR (Student Transition Activities Record) Program is offered to all transition age students with disabilities and provides pre-employment transition services to prepare them for employment. Through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, students with disabilities can receive these services without requiring them to apply for VR services or be determined as eligible through typical VR procedures. Referral for STAR services takes place through school districts. Pre-employment transition services include the following:

  • Career Exploration Counseling
  • Work Readiness Training
  • Community-Based Work Experience
  • Self-Advocacy
  • STAR Notes for Students and Families
    • Students with IEPs can be referred to the STAR program through the school district.
    • Contact a local exceptional student education (ESE) teacher or administrator to get the referral process started.
  • STAR Notes for Schools
    • VR has established a STAR Referral Portal through which VR staff and school districts can collaborate to provide pre-employment services.
    • Information about STAR program login for school districts is available on the VR Star page.

Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind Services ensures that eligible individuals with all types of hearing loss will receive VR services.

Florida Alliance for Assistive Services Technology (FAAST) works toward a "seamless supportive partnership between Florida business and government to provide assistive technology products and services which will enable persons with disabilities to participate in independent living, education, work and recreation from birth to death."

Independent Living Program provides services through a statewide network of private nonprofit, nonresidential, locally based and consumer-controlled Centers for Independent Living.

Mental Health Programs are coordinated with available mental health centers and service providers to assist individuals with mental or emotional disabilities in becoming employed.

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program funds projects that provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities who are migrant or seasonal workers and for their families.

Supported Employment serves people with the most significant disabilities who have not been successful in competitive employment.

Ticket to Work is a Social Security Administration program available to Floridians who qualify for social security benefits. Participants use an issued ticket with an Employment Network, such as VR, who offer access to employment and rehabilitation services.

*Note: See also "The Rehabilitation Act of 1973" and "Vocational Rehabilitation Services" in the A-Z Library of Terms and Resources.

Resources

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Florida Department of Education
VR is a federal-state program that works with people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers.

Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)
FAAST’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all Floridians with disabilities through advocacy and awareness activities that increase access to and acquisition of assistive services and technology.

Florida Independent Living Council (FILC)
FILC's purpose is to promote independent living opportunities for persons with disabilities throughout the state of Florida, including the promotion of a direct service philosophy that is consumer controlled and directed.

Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC)
The FRC is committed to increasing employment, enhancing independence and improving the quality of life for Floridians with disabilities through evaluation, planning and coordination of services. Members are appointed by the Governor.

Transition Youth Program
VR School to Work Transition involves a number of activities that help students with disabilities enter training, continue education and/or work after leaving high school. The goal is to help students who want to work become better prepared for life beyond high school.