Everyone asks you, “What are you going to do after high school?” Now you have the answer! With help from your high school and Vocational Rehabilitation, you can make a plan for YOUR future. Our program is here to hep you make those exciting decisions about your future career path and life plans.
VRBS can provide the following Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) while you are attending high school:
- Job Exploration Counseling – explore the world of work, find your interests and abilities, work with a job mentor, shadow a job or career, investigate careers, etc
- Work-based learning experiences – get valuable work experience through paid or unpaid work, volunteer, complete an internship or begin the steps of an apprenticeship.
- Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in post-secondary education (college, vo-tech, etc) – for those students seeking further education VRBS can assist with exploring these options. This may include investigating career paths, referrals to college resources, campus visits among other activities.
- Work Place Readiness – These are services to help you get ready for the challenges of work. Services could include training in soft skills, customer service, work place communication as well as peer mentoring, independent living skills, accessing transportation and self-advocacy.
- Instruction in Self Advocacy – Learn how to help yourself, understand more about yourself and how to interact with world. Services could include courses taught at an Independent Living Center, peer mentoring, self-advocacy, attendance at the Montana Youth Leadership Forum or Montana Youth Transitions Conference and other training opportunities.
In addition to the pre-employment services there are many more services we can provide to help you as leave high school and move into your career path. You will need to be eligible for the VRBS program.
You are eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services if you meet all three of the following criteria:
- You have a physical or mental disability
- Your disability prevents you from getting or keeping a job
- You want to work and you need VRBS services to help you get or keep a job.
You are automatically eligible if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or SSDI benefits.
Once eligible these are the types of services VRBS can provide based on what you need to prepare for a career, get into that career and maintain employment on your career path. Services MAY include some of the following:
- Evaluation Services – Interest surveys, career information websites, and other evaluations may be used to help you learn more about yourself, unique skills, abilities and interests as well as your needs related to your disability.
- Career Counseling and Guidance Services – Learn about the world of work and careers. In conjunction with information about you and your choices, you and your VRBS counselor will develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) outlining the services you need for your career path.
- Medical or Psychological Services – These services may be available on a limited basis should you need them to get and keep going on your career path.
- 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 for your career.
- 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.
VRBS may serve youth with disabilities starting at age 14 and the Pre-Employment Transition Services begin the academic year in which a student turns 16 until a student leaves high school. For more information about our program please refer to the link below regarding the VRBS counselor that serves your school or area.
To apply, students may ask their teacher or family to help schedule an appointment with the VRBS counselor who travels to their school or they can contact the Vocational Rehabilitation office that serves their area.
The following tools were designed to clarify and simplify the transitions process for students and their support teams, including, parents, teachers, and MVR counselors.
1. 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.
2. 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.
1. Open electronic GPS form and familiarize yourself with the form.
– You proceed from the bottom to the top, following the arrow.
– Underline text indicates a hyperlink to an ourside resource
2. Enter student’s name in the field at the bottom left of the GPS form.
3. Enter name of mentor in the field at the bottom right of the form (The mentor can be a parent, teacher or MVR counselor or some other trusted advisor)
4. Enter student’s expected graduation date at the top.
5. Follow the arrow from the bottom to the top, filling in information along the way.
3. 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.
For More Information Contact:
Montana Vocational Rehabilitation
111 Sanders Suite 307
PO Box 4210
Helena, MT 59604-4210
1-877-296-1197 (toll-free consumer line)
(406) 444-2590 (voice/TTY)
(406) 444-3632 (fax)