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The Vocational Rehabilitation Program has a success rate of over 85% for services provided to Vocational Clients.
Blind and visually impaired people face unique challenges in the workplace, such as accessing and using technology, reading printed materials, and navigating physical spaces. These challenges can make it difficult for them to find and maintain employment. According to the National Federation of the Blind, the unemployment rate among blind individuals is around 70%, which is significantly higher than the national average. As a priority focus and to address the dire situation, CDCVI offers specific, relevant, training through Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The program provides a wide range of services to help the blind prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment.
Vocational rehabilitation services for the blind include training and education to help individuals gain the skills they need to be successful in the workplace may include training on assistive technology, such as screen readers and magnification software, as well as training on job-specific skills. This training is critical for individuals with visual impairments who are seeking employment. By providing a wide range of services such as; assessment and planning, Job Readiness, Job Placement, Independent Living skills, Orientation & Mobility, Assistive Technology and Job Placement and Job Coaching, we assure individuals have the skill to achieve their employment goals.
By working together, individuals with visual impairments along with our specially trained staff can help ensure that they have the skills, support, and resources they need to succeed in the workplace.
The first step in the vocational rehabilitation process is an assessment of the individual's disability and employment goals. The assessment helps determine the types of services and support the individual needs to achieve their goals. The assessment may include a review of the individual's medical and vocational history, as well as an evaluation of their functional abilities and vocational interests. Based on the assessment, a vocational rehabilitation counselor will work with the individual to develop an individualized plan for employment (IPE).
Assistive technology is a key component of vocational rehabilitation services for the blind. It includes devices and software that help individuals access and use technology, such as screen readers, Braille displays, and magnification software.
BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT
Students receive training on unique barriers facing visually impaired and blind persons including; how to complete a functional ability statement, how to relay disability information to employers and the importance of emphasizing positive attributes. We emphasize the importance of understanding and overcoming societal stereotypes and the stigma often associated with blindness and focus on active training on effectively communicating students’ abilities.
Students are instructed on how to complete functional, chronological and combination resumes. Students learn how to use technology to ensure correct grammar and spelling, and how to acquire and utilize letters of recommendation to the best advantage.
Students are introduced to resources available including newspapers, word of mouth, cold calls, systematic and organized networking, job search engines and internet sites
BEST INTERVIEW PRACTICES
Students are taught how to prepare for an interview by learning what questions to expect and how to recognize unlawful interview questions. They receive assistance in memorizing education and career sections of resume. This training leads to multiple mock interviews that are video-recorded and studio tapes, for self-critique and trainer feedback and critique.
DISABILITY BENEFITS, LAWS, AND LEGISLATION
Students participate in education and discussion regarding Americans with Disabilities Act and the impact on benefits (SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare) when employed. Common workplace policies, procedures, benefits and rules are reviewed.
IDENTIFYING WORK EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITIES
Students receive training for employment including options and choices available, i.e., vocational training, college and on the job training. They engage in job searches (local and nationwide) and complete labor market surveys.
Job placement for blind people includes identifying job opportunities that match the individual's skills and interests, connecting them with potential employers, and providing job coaching and support to help them succeed in their new job. Once a job opportunity has been identified, Employment Specialists may work with the employer to make any necessary accommodations for the individual, such as providing assistive technology or modifying the work environment. They may also provide job coaching and support to help the individual learn the job and succeed in their new role.
Rehabilitation teaching is a specialized form of training that focuses on teaching individuals with disabilities the skills they need to be independent and successful in the workplace. This may include training on daily living skills, such as cooking and cleaning, as well as orientation and mobility training to help individuals navigate physical spaces.
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