New Opportunities & Announcements

Florida's Youth Leadership Forum | July 18 - 22, 2018
The Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living (FACIL) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will host Florida’s Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) July 18-22, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. The YLF is a three-day leadership conference for youth and young adults with disabilities, ages 16 - 19, that helps pave the way for transition and independence. Participants will build their leadership skills and become better prepared to pursue employment, higher education and independent living. Click here to download the Delegate Application Form. Applications are due by April 15, 2018.

Abilities Art Gala - Accepting Submissions (Citrus County)
Friends and Families Reaching for the Abilities (FFRA) and the Art Center of Citrus County has announced a call for artists to submit works for a juried show, the “Abilities Art Gala” to be held in June 2018. This opportunity is open to all “emerging” and “practicing” artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All genres accepted. All pieces must be original. For more information, contact FFRA through their website contact page.

Abilities Art Gala - Mentoring Workshops (Citrus County)
Family & Friends Reaching for the Abilities (FFRA) will be conducting several Mentorship Workshops for emerging artists with developmental disabilities interested in submitting their work for the “Abilities Art Gala” juried and judged show at the Art Center of Citrus County Gallery later in June 2018. Monthly workshops will be held the 2nd Saturday beginning February 10 at Unity of Citrus County, 2628 W. Woodview Lane, Lecanto, from 2:00 -4:00 pm. Professional artists, mentors and support staff will be available to help participants with their work, techniques, designs, structure and colors. Canvases, supplies and materials will be supplied for each participant. Those interested in participating must register with Robert DeSimone in advance to ensure that materials and supplies will be available. Register by calling Robert DeSimone at 352-628-5606 or 352-501-9107 (cell). Applications for the Abilities Art Gala may also be requested.

2018 VR Summer Youth Program (Statewide)
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is offering the 2018 Summer Youth Program which provides Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to students with disabilities between the ages of 14-21 to prepare them for their transition from high school to postsecondary education, training or employment. In the VR Summer Youth Program, providers have the flexibility to create a unique Summer Youth Program experience by delivering any combination of the following Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS).

  • Job Exploration Counseling: Instruction on the benefits of competitive integrated employment and employment options at every level of education available in the local labor market. This may include, but is not limited to, reviewing interest and ability surveys, reviewing career websites, instruction on career choices, or other similar activities. (10 service hours)
  • Postsecondary Educational Counseling: Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs or comprehensive transition programs and identifying financial aid options. (10 service hours)
  • Workplace Readiness Training: Soft-skills training, employability skills training, social/interpersonal skills (i.e. communication, problem solving, decision making, conflict resolution, empathy, professionalism, etc.) and independent living skills training related to employment (i.e. good hygiene, money management, time management, using technology and assistive technology, appropriate dress, appropriate behavior, etc.). (20 service hours)
  • Work-based Learning Experiences: Paid or non-paid work experiences in the community, volunteer work, job shadows, short or long-term internships, on the job training, employer mentoring activities that is provided in an integrated environment to the maximum extent possible (20 service hours)
  • Self-Advocacy Training (SA): This may include, but is not limited to instruction in self-awareness, disability disclosure, requesting accommodations, understanding rights and responsibilities, self-determination. (20 service hours)

Eligible Providers: The opportunity to deliver Summer Youth Program services is open to providers who are registered with VR to deliver Employment Services or Pre-Employment Transition Services. If you are not currently registered as one of these provider types with VR, we encourage you to begin the provider registration process now. School Districts are encouraged to apply to become VR Pre-Employment Transition Services providers to participate in this opportunity. Please contact the VR Vendor Registration Office to learn more: VRVendors@vr.fldoe.org. In order to be eligible to participate in the Summer Youth Program, your Employment Services Provider or Pre-Employment Transition Services application must be fully approved prior to the SYP application deadline (date to be determined). 

Payment: Providers will be paid via purchase order. The overall budget for this program has not yet been determined. The payment rate will be based on a one hour unit of service per student. 

Program Session: The VR Summer Youth Program session will be July 1- August 31, 2018. Providers may deliver and complete their programs anytime during this time frame once they have received an approved Purchase Order.

Eligible Participants: Participants must be students in secondary or postsecondary training or education programs, between the ages of 14-21, with a disability as evidenced by having and Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan or other approved documentation.Providers may recruit students who are not involved in the VR system (not STAR Participants or VR Customers) or receive service referrals from VR for current STAR Participants and VR Customers. There will be a differential service payment to providers for students who are referred rather than recruited. 

Capacity: There is no minimum requirement for the number of students served. The maximum limit for students served will be determined after the number of participating providers is identified. 

Service Hours: Programs must be no less than 20 hours in length and no more than 80 hours in length. See the service descriptions above for the required number of service hours for each type of Pre-ETS offered. 

To express your interest in becoming an SYP provider and be notified of further information, please complete the following Provider Interest Survey using this link. More information about the 2018 SYP program and requirements is forthcoming as we finalize plans for the program structure. If you have questions about this program, contact VRSYP@vr.fldoe.org. If you have questions about becoming a VR Provider, contact VRVendors@vr.fldoe.org.