Special to The Dallas Examiner
AUSTIN – Start My VR, an online self-referral portal for prospective vocational rehabilitation customers recently introduced by the Texas Workforce Commission, was designed to provide a convenient way for individuals with disabilities seeking employment to inquire about vocational rehabilitation services and/or be connected to a VR staff member.
“Start My VR offers individuals with disabilities a way to connect with VR Services at their convenience and take their first step toward achieving their employment goals,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “TWC remains focused on helping every Texas job seeker connect to their next career opportunity.”
TWS-Vocational Rehabilitation Services supports individuals with physical or mental disabilities in achieving their employment goals. VR Services was designed to help an individual live independently and address employment barriers related to a disability, and support eligible individuals as they prepare for, obtain, retain or advance in employment.
“Vocational Rehabilitation Services are staffed by teams of rehabilitation professionals, whose priority is to provide services and support to individuals with disabilities to ensure that they may fully participate in the labor market and live independent lives,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “VR Services can often be a life-changing journey, which can begin with Start My VR.”
VR Services are personalized to an individual’s needs and can include assessments and diagnostics, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and cognitive therapies, among other services. VR Services, a core partner of the Texas Workforce System, may also include career-focused education, training, and apprenticeships, job development, paid work experience, among other employment supports.
“Texas employers that make disability inclusiveness a priority in their workplace have demonstrated increased employee retention, employee satisfaction, and innovation – all of which contribute to a competitive business advantage,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Through Start My VR, we want to reach more individuals with disabilities to ensure they are aware of how VR services can benefit them, and support our goal to ensure that Texas employers benefit from the many talented individuals with disabilities who can join the workforce.”
In addition, the online system can also receive inquiries for the Older Individuals who are Blind program.
VR-OIB services are designed to assist individuals age 55 and older adjust to the disability of blindness or visual impairment based on their specific needs. These services may include counseling and evaluations about vision loss, information and referral to community resources, assistive technology, diabetes education, or independent living skills training, which may include training in orientation and mobility and daily living skills.
To find out more about the services, visit https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/vocational-rehabilitation-services.
Business owner interesting in learning about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities or to obtain information on employee accommodation can contact a Vocational Rehabilitation Business Relations Coordinator through https://www.twc.texas.gov/businesses/vocational-rehabilitation-business-relations.