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Art By: Janet Schuldt

ACCES-VR

Transitions Planning

What is Acces-VR?

Acces-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation),, is part of the NY State Education Department. Acces-VR is a NYS agency that administers as well as provides vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities. Vocational rehabilitation is a professional field and a publicly-funded program that will assist individuals with disabilities to obtain employment.

Why Do I Want It?

Acces-VR is a service available to people with all types of disabilities — developmental, physical or mental impairments — of all ages who want to go to work. These are some of the services that are available through Acces-VR:

  1. Assessment to help identify skills, abilities, interests and limitations.
  2. Career counseling and guidance.
  3. Rehabilitation and assistive technology.
  4. Training at a vocational school, community college, or on the job.
  5. Supported Employment, job placement and job retention.
  6. Acces-VR can pay for many services depending on the financial need of the individual and family. Acess-VR must consider other benefits and services that are available to individuals.
  7. Certain services have reasonable spending and/or time limits.
How do I get it?

Services are based on eligibility! You must apply to Access-VR to receive these services. The more documentation a person has to verify a physical or mental impairment, and describe how that impairment affects their ability to work, the faster the eligibility process will go. Here are the Access-VRD eligibility requirements for services:

  1. Person has a physical or mental impairment.
  2. The impairment is an impediment to employment.
  3. Person can benefit from VR services to achieve employment.
  4. Person requires VR services to achieve employment.
  5. Person intends to work.
  6. A person with a disability has to apply for services.
  7. The person must meet the eligibility requirements.

Acces-VR toolbox

Helpful Tips

  1. An ACCES-VR file can be opened for a student two years prior to high school graduation.
  2. Once found eligible, we will help you create your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This plan outlines the work goal, the steps to achieve it and the necessary services.
  3. The person must work with a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by ACCES-VR to determine eligibility.
  4. A person who chooses to participate in ACCES-VR services has to be serious about going to work, whether it be part-time or full-time.
  5. ACCES-VR works with community rehabilitation programs, One-Stop centers, Independent Living Centers, community colleges and schools, and any other community resource that could provide goods and services that enable an individual with a disability to work.
  6. ACCES-VR services end when the individual enters and maintains competitive employment for at least 90 days.
  7. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, they “close” services if it seems that the employment goal is not going to be reached. Sometimes people “drop out” of services and/or close their individual program with ACCES-VR.

Need More Help?

Arc of Westchester's Navigation Team is here for you. For more information on how Arc of Westchester can work with you on these many Transitions Issues, contact Carol Gearing of the Arc of Westchester at (914) 495-4620 or by email at cgearing@arcwestchester.org.