From School to Work
What is Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)?
We believe people with disabilities should have the same employment opportunities as people without disabilities. So we help them get ready to go to work, find a job and make sure they are equipped to keep it.
If you’re a high school student with a disability, you’re probably thinking about your future. We can give you that extra boost you need to succeed in the job market after you graduate.
Why would I want to work anyway?
So you can use your potential to achieve the highest level of independence possible. Challenging and fulfilling employment opportunities await those who prepare for them. Put your potential to work.
What will VR do for me while I’m still in school?
If you’re eligible for VR services, you’ll have a counselor who will help you develop a plan to achieve successful employment. Your counselor—and the rest of your VR team—will
- Help you explore different career opportunities
- Give you information about the work skills, abilities and training you need for a specific job
- Help you find out about the types of jobs available in your community
- Arrange for you to use the nearest Vocational Rehabilitation Training Center during the summer before your senior year to strengthen your ability to meet work requirements
- Work with you and your parents to locate training programs to help you meet your employment goal
Who makes the decisions?
You and your parents.
An assessment will indicate your strengths, abilities and interests and you decide what your employment goal will be.
Good planning is the key to success. Your counselor will work with you, your parents and others involved with your planning to help you make informed choices about the kinds of jobs and careers you want to consider.
What happens when I graduate? What if I go to college or a tech school?
After you leave high school, your VR team will continue to work with you to
- Implement your employment plan and coordinate services if you need assistance to learn a job
- Provide any help you need to look at career alternatives
- Offer counseling and guidance as you work toward your employment goal
- Arrange for special training you may need
- Help you find a job
- Follow up after you are working to make sure you and your employer are satisfied
- Explore other services if necessary
Who pays for all of this?
There’s no cost for determining if and how SCVRD can help you.
Planning and job placement assistance can also be provided by your VR counselor as no cost to you.
If we need to purchase things—such as tools or training—to help you accomplish your employment goal, family resources and level of need will be considered in determining any costs.
But what if I don’t want people to know I have a disability?
All information we have about you is kept confidential. Only you, your parents and your counselor need to know. We share your information only if you give permission.
What about my SSI or SSDI benefits?
Your counselor can give you and your parents general advice about how your benefits may be affected when you begin earning wages. Work incentive allowances are available and you should contact the Social Security Administration to get specific information about your situation.
How do I qualify?
You must have a physical or mental impairment that interferes with your ability to work.
You must also need and be able to benefit from VR services that will lead to competitive employment.
When should I apply?
The ideal time is before you begin your junior year. However, you may apply if you have already begun your junior or senior year.
See your high school guidance counselor or school nurse or call your nearest SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department Area Office for more information.