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Vocational Rehabilitation

"Infinite Possibilities to Meet Your Business Needs"

We are designed to meet the Needs of our Community and Business Customers.

Consumer Services

What can I Expect from DVI's Vocational Rehabilitation Program?

These services remove barriers to obtaining or retaining employment that people who have visual impairments may face.

The goal of the program is to help you become employed or stay employed. Everything we do together will be designed to help you achieve your employment goal. Each customer's experience will be different.

We try very hard to tailor services to your job goals and your needs. We do not have a standard "program" or set of services that everyone goes through. You and your counselor will develop your plan for employment together.

How can VR help you with your career?

You do not have to be unemployed to receive VR services. We assist a lot of people who want to work more hours or want to advance their careers. This may include retraining or support advancing with your current employer or training and support in finding a new career.

What are the steps in the VR Process?

To get VR services there are some steps you will have to go through including the following:

  • Application. You must complete and sign an application. We can help you fill out an application in any of our office locations or through contacting our central intake coordinator at (302) 255-9848.

  • Becoming Eligible. Before you can receive services your counselor must determine if you are eligible for the program. Any job seeker may be eligible for DVI VR services who:

    1. Has the documented presence of a visual impairment or legal blindness which results in a significant barrier to employment, and

    2. Requires our services to prepare for, enter into, engage in, or retain employment.

    Eligibility criteria for DVI VR services are based on a corrected visual acuity of 20/70 or worse in the better eye, or a visual field restriction of 20 degrees or less. This is typically documented by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. If an individual does not meet our eligibility criteria, but does have another disability, they mmay qualify for VR services from our partner agency: Delaware Works.

  • Plan for Employment. You and your counselor will develop a plan for employment. This is your plan for how you are going to achieve your employment goal. Your plan will include:

    • Your employment goal

    • What you are going to do to achieve that goal

    • What DVR is going to do to help you achieve that goal

    Remember everyone' plan is different. Each job seeker will receive different supports and services depending on their job goal and needs. Some of the more common services provided by DVI are assistive technology evaluation/training, orientation and mobility services, career counseling, and job placement assistance.

  • Employment. Once you have achieved your employment goal DVR services will end after several months of follow along support. However, if you need help in the future, we are available to assist you.

Do you have VR services for teens with visual impairments?

VR provides transition and employment related services to individuals with visual impairments, beginning four years prior to graduation from high school. Eligibility for DVI VR services is based on the documented presence of visual impairment or legal blindness which constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment, and requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter into, engage in, or retain gainful employment. Eligibility criteria for DVI VR services are based on a corrected visual acuity of 20/70 or worse in the better eye, or a visual field restriction of 20 degrees or less.

The VR staff work closely with DVI's teachers for the visually impaired to coordinate services for visually impaired and blind teens. The VR staff in coordination with our teachers participates in the IEP process to plan for the success of that student. Our teachers for the visually impaired work in every Delaware school district in coordination with the Delaware Department of Education, to ensure that students with visual impairments are able to access their education programs equal to their peers.

The Division for the Visually Impaired staff works closely with the Delaware Department of Education, Delaware's local education agencies (LEAs), Child Development Watch, and other organizations involved with children who have visual impairments.

If you or a loved one are experiencing vision loss that impacts employment, our team can help!

Business Services

Business consulting is at the heart of what we do.

Our business consultants can offer training and support to you and your staff when it comes to accommodations, smart work environments, and accessing a diversified talent pool of applicants.

How do I contact a business consultant for my business that wants to hire a person with a visual impairment?

You may call 302-255-9800 for New Castle County and 302-4214-7240 for Kent/Sussex County. We are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. You may also email us at (DVI general mailbox if that exist)

Some Facts on Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

  • Skilled Employees learn to persevere and develop problem-solving, planning, and people skills.

  • Solid Performers. Statistically, employees with disabilities have better retention rates.

  • Cost Savers are rated consistently as above average or average in performance, quality and quantity of work, flexibility and attendance.

Some Myths and Truths about Workers with Disabilities

  • Myth: Accommodations for employees with visual impairments are very costly.

  • Truth: Most accommodations can be free or low cost to the employer:
    • Changes in lighting can help
    • The purchase of adaptive equipment can be as simple as a magnifier or even an iPod

  • Myth: People with disabilities are more likely to sue employers.

  • Truth: Studies show that disability claims are rare. For example, ninety-one percent of employees had no ADA complaints filed in the previous twelve months. (Society of Human Resources Management). People with disabilities desire jobs, not lawsuits, and are no more of a "legal liability" than other employees. (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

  • Myth: Employees with disabilities will use more sick leave and health care.

  • Truth: Employees with disabilities have been shown to have the same absentee and sick rates as non-disabled employees.
    • Large companies do not experience increased insurance premiums when they hire employees with disabilities. Because of recent Medicare changes and Medicaid buy-in programs, many people with disabilities carry their own primary insurance, thereby reducing their employers' costs.
    • Companies that institute "Return To Work" programs for employees who become disabled can actually reduce insurance costs.
    • Businesses can claim the Disability Access Credit on IRS form 882

The Division for the Visually Impaired has many Business Resources available to assist you in your quest to reach your goals.

On-the-Job Training Reimbursement Fund

The Division for the Visually Impaired has funding available to offset the costs of hiring a person with a visual impairment for to 50% of the wages of their initial training period. Employers that are interested in hiring qualified candidates with visual impairments through this program should contact DVI's Business Services Unit at (302) 255-9800 for more information.

Last Updated: Tuesday September 08 2015
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