Montana Vocational Rehabilitation (MVR) Services For Youth with Disabilities
You are eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation if you meet all three of the following criteria:
1. You have a physical or mental disability
2. Your disability prevents you from getting or keeping a job
3. You want to work and you need VR services to help you get or keep a job.
The types of services provided are based on what you need to get and keep a job. Services MAY include some of the following.
- Evaluation Services – Medical, psychological, and vocational evaluations may be used to determine your rehabilitation needs, limitations, interests and abilities.
- Career Counseling and Guidance Services – Using the evaluation information, you and your counselor will develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) outlining the services you require to get and keep a job.
- Medical or Psychological Services – These services may be available on a limited basis should you need them to get and keep a job.
- Training – Vocational Rehabilitation may coordinate and help fund such services as on-the-job training, job coaching, business/trade school, college or other vocational programs if you need them to qualify for employment.
- Job Development and Placement Services – Vocational Rehabilitation will provide assistance to help you with your job search. Assistance may include help completing a job application and help to preparing for a job interview.
- Rehabilitation Technology – You and your counselor may identify and obtain adaptive aids or equipment necessary to help you get or keep a job. For example, computer adaptations, workstations, modifications, etc.
- Post Employment Services – Once you are employed, support services related to your disability may be provided to help you keep your job.
- Referrals – Vocational Rehabilitation can coordinate with other programs and services to increase your opportunities for employment.
Students become eligible to submit a formal application for MVR services during the spring before the student's exit year. Before to that time, MVR counselors will serve as consultants regarding vocational planning. Students, teachers, parents and others are welcome to contact MVR for information at any time.
To apply, students may ask their teacher to help schedule an appointment with the MVR counselor who travels to their school or they can contact the Vocational Rehabilitation office that serves their area.
Transitions Demonstration Goes Statewide
Disability Employment and Transitions began its transition demonstration project in Missoula in 2007 with funding from the state legislature and governor.
The project had two goals:
- to improve relationships with students with disabilities and their parents and teachers, and
- to increase the number of students with disabilities who graduate and go on to employment and/or college.
A vocational rehabilitation counselor held regular office hours in each of the three Missoula public high schools. This counselor met with students, school staff and parents to explain vocational rehabilitation services and helped interested students set up appointments with their own Montana Vocational Rehabilitation counselors.
After the demonstration, students with disabilities and their support team members (parents, teachers, therapists, etc.) reported considerable improvement in the quality of services. The project also produced award-winning materials to assist successful transitions.
In 2011, money for the demonstration program was pulled. However, the program had such initial success that the project practices and materials went statewide. Now, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in each Disability Employment and Transitions field office hold or plan to hold regular office hours in Montana’s largest high schools. In the future, Disability Employment and Transitions will assess the program and continue improving our services.
The following tools were designed to clarify and simplify the transitions process for students and their support teams, including: parents, teachers, and MVR counselors.
- Cooperative Agreement - The Cooperative Agreement is a tool outlines the specific roles MVR counselors and teachers play in helping students transition from school to the world of work.
- Goal Positioning System (GPS) - The GPS is an interactive, electronic document that helps students and their support teams navigate the entire transitions journey in a single glance on one page.
- Vocational Rehabilitation as a Partner in Transition: Bridging the Gap Between School and Work - This is an article that describes the vocational rehabilitation process, including case studies and a "Q and A" section.
- Open electronic GPS form and familiarize yourself with the form.
- You proceed from the bottom to the top; following the arrow.
- Underlined text indicates a hyperlink to an outside resource.
- Enter student's name in the field at the bottom left of the GPS form.
- Enter name of mentor in the field at the bottom right of form. (The mentor can be a parent, teacher, or MVR counselor or some other trusted adviser.)
- Enter student's expected graduation date at the top.
- Follow the arrow from the bottom to the top, filling in information along the way.
Montana Youth Leadership Forum
Disability Employment and Transitions is proud to sponsor the Montana Youth Leadership Forum (MYLF).
MYLF (pronounced “my life”) is a unique career and leadership training program for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors with disabilities. By serving as delegates from their communities at a 5-day intensive training, youth with disabilities will cultivate leadership, citizenship, and social skills.
Montana Youth Transitions Program
Disability Employment and Transitions and the Office of Public Instruction sponsor the Montana Youth Transitions Program (MYTransitions).
MYTransitions is a website where you can explore, ask questions and discover. The intent of their website is to connect students and families to others across Montana who are also in transition or who have already navigated the transition process. MYTransitions is a reference tool for youth with disabilities and their families.