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 serve individuals with disabilities and injured workers by focusing on results, employment, and independence through partnership and innovation. VR gives highest priority to individuals with the most significant disabilities. VR accomplishes its mission through the following programs:
General VR Program assists individuals with disabilities to identify and pursue meaningful careers.
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.
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program funds vocational rehabilitation services projects for individuals who are migrant or seasonal workers, and for their families.
Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reemployment Services for Injured Workers assists injured employees with their return to employment.
Adults with Disabilities Grant Program provides funds to school districts and state colleges to enhance the skills of adults with disabilities and senior citizens.
School to Work Transition Program involves a number of activities that help students enter training, continue education, and/or work after leaving high school. Its goal is to help students who want to work become better prepared for life beyond high school. VR defines transition in the following ways:
The VR counselor must be invited to a student’s IEP meeting where he or she will explain the VR Transition program. The VR counselor will use existing records and new evaluations to determine a student’s eligibility for VR services. Transitioning youth who meet the eligibility criteria will be placed on a priority list if the agency is under an "Order of Selection." Students will be invited off this priority list based on the severity of their disability and the date they applied for VR services. The VR counselor will then work with the student to identify an employment goal and the services needed to achieve that goal. This information will be detailed in the student’s IPE. The VR counselor will provide guidance and counseling until the student has received all the necessary services identified in the IPE and has maintained employment for at least 90 days.
The Florida VR Director is a member of the Executive Committee of The Florida Rehabilitation Council. The Council is appointed by the Governor and composed of a majority of individuals with disabilities. The Council conducts evaluation, planning, and coordination of services relating to employment, independence, and quality of life for persons with disabilities.
See also "The Rehabilitation Act of 1973" and "Vocational Rehabilitation Services" in the A-Z Library of Terms and Resources.
References and Resources
Florida DOE, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
VR is a federal-state program that works with people who have physical or mental disabilities to prepare for, gain, and/or retain employment. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers.
Services Provided by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
This memo from the Florida Department of Education describes the intake process and some services available to students with disabilities as they become clients of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation with the goal of preparing for, entering, and succeeding in the workforce.
VR School to Work Transition
VR School to Work Transition involves a number of activities that help students 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.
VR Order of Selection Information
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.
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.
VR Injured Workers Program
The internet-based Injured Employee Orientation Program provides information about the reemployment services offered by the Bureau of Rehabilitation and Reemployment Services (BRRS). Services are designed to help eligible injured employees return to work as soon as medically possible. The program also includes information about the rights and responsibilities of injured employees and how they may apply for services.
| The development of this website was funded by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
through a grant by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services,
Florida Department of Education (2010 - 2011, 291-2621A-1C008).