Rehabilitation Services as a Resource
Vision rehabilitation services are available to adults who have recently lost vision and are adjusting to those changes. Some rehabilitation services are directed toward getting employment (i.e., vocational rehabilitation).
The main provider of rehabilitation services is each state's vocational rehabilitation agency. There is generally a network of local offices to contact for assistance.
In addition to state-sponsored services, there are hundreds of private, nonprofit agencies for blind people in the United States. Services vary from agency to agency, so it is important to make your needs clear when contacting them. You can find them through AFB's Directory of Services.
State vocational rehabilitation agencies are typically networked with private agencies and are supported with your tax dollars. Their primary goal is to help people with disabilities prepare for and become gainfully employed.
Benefit to Employers
- Consultation: ADA, tax incentives, job accommodations, retaining employees experiencing vision loss
- Employment Support: job analysis, awareness training, short- and long-term job coaching, follow up services, initial on site orientation of newly hired visually impaired employees, special recruitment services for companies seeking to expand their pool of diverse employees.
- Outreach Assistance: job match and referral of qualified local candidates, job fairs, informational workshops and seminars, local and national job postings
- Information Repository: vendors and technicians, local and national labor market data, unemployment insurance, accommodations financial aid
Help in Finding and Hiring Blind and Visually Impaired Employees
- A recruitment resource, matching applicants' skills with job requirements; referral of appropriate candidates
- Assess worksite and job tasks; then create a list of recommended equipment and accommodations that will facilitate optimal job performance
- In concert with employers, recommend and assist in the purchase of equipment.
- Subsidize wages for the first few months of a job, if substantial training is involved in learning the job; work with the supervisor to address issues that may arise following hiring
Benefit to Applicants
Vocational rehabilitation counselors, job placement specialists, and assistive technology trainers help eligible individuals become viable job candidates. Individuals can receive:
- Assessment to determine skills and personal goals, services to close skill gaps, technology and on-the-job training
- Job placement and other support in their employment efforts
- Reader and braille services when necessary for those who are visually impaired
- Job coaching: observation of a job and training of an employee who needs additional support in learning the job or specific job tasks