News and Information
Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
Vocational Rehabilitation Program
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program was established under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, and provides vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals with disabilities so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment. The DARS VR program provides direct services to consumers through its field offices located throughout the Commonwealth. Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center provides consumers with residential or outpatient programs ranging from early medical rehabilitation to complete vocational services and re-entry into the community. The VR program provides a comprehensive range of services, including vocational evaluation, job placement, career counseling, vocational and academic training, rehabilitation and assistive technology, physical restoration and personal assistance services.
In addition to its Division of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) program, DARS has strong partnerships with many community-based rehabilitation providers across the Commonwealth and supports facility-based employment and supported employment services for the Employment Services Organizations (ESOs), the community rehabilitation providers in Virginia.
DARS also works closely with private, non-profit Centers for Independent Living which provide independent living skills, training, advocacy, information and referral and peer counseling for individuals with disabilities.
The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) works in partnership with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to assess satisfaction with services received through the Division of Rehabilitative Services (DRS). Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015 was the second year of assessing satisfaction for consumers in service delivery (post Individualized Plan for Employment but prior to Employment). Survey highlights are provided below. A detailed report is available at https://www.vadars.org/publications.htm#annualreports.
Percentage of Consumers Responding "Yes"
|Number of "Yes" Responses||Percentage of "Yes" Responses|
|Have you and your counselor agreed on your plans for reaching your job goal?||332||74|
|Is your counselor helpful in connecting you with people and services you need to reach your job goal?||318||71|
|Has your counselor kept in contact with you throughout the process?||322||71|
|Is your counselor meeting the timetables for reaching your job goal?||280||62|
|Is your counselor doing what he/she said they would do to help you reach your job goals?||307||69|
|Do you believe everyone is working together to help you reach your job goal?||298||67|
While percentages of "Yes" responses were below 75 percent, they were indicative of real time assessment (what was happening with consumers at the time of survey completion). Despite low "Yes" percentages, the majority of consumers reported the best thing that had happened to help them move towards their job goal and what would help them move closer to their goal.
- Staff assistance and self-perception (consumer's attitude, learning, emotions, or actions) were the top mentioned things that had helped consumers move towards their job goal.
- School/training (desired and completion of) and specific job desires (more hours, improvement, or type of job) were the top mentioned things that would help consumers move closer to their goal.
DARS State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment
DARS is required to file a State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment with the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration, annually. Topics covered in the State Plan include:
- Rehabilitation and career needs of people with disabilities
- Methods to expand and improve services to meet those needs
- Services provided by Employment Services Organizations (ESOs)
- Quality, scope and extent of Supported Employment services
- Transition of students with disabilities, including students with disabilities who are not in special education programs, from education to vocational rehabilitation.
An important Attachment to the State Plan summarizes recommendations and advice provided by the SRC to DSRS, and presents the agency's response to these recommendations.
Each year, DARS conducts special hearings for the purpose of obtaining public input into its State Plan.
SRC Annual Report
The SRC submits an Annual Report to the Commissioner of the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration and to the Governor of Virginia on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the state.
- 2015 Annual Report (PDF) | Text Only (Word)
- 2014 Annual Report (PDF)
- 2013 Annual Report (PDF)
- 2012 Annual Report (PDF | Text Only - Word)
- 2011 Annual Report (PDF | Large Print - Word)
- 2010 Annual Report (PDF)
Copies may be obtained by contacting the SRC Liaison at SRC Web.