Helping you achieve your work goals.
The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) helps adults and students with disabilities, beginning at age 14, assess interests and abilities, explore career options and develop a plan to reach their future employment goals. To help people with disabilities, ages 14 and up, achieve their employment goals, DRS is able to provide a variety of services to eligible individuals. Please note that DRS provides individualized services and not all services in this “menu” are available to all consumers. DRS consumers and vocational rehabilitation counselors work together to determine the necessary and appropriate services to enable each consumer to meet his or her identified employment goal. The services provided to each DRS consumer are determined by his or her unique employment barriers, chosen employment goal and individual circumstances. This “menu” represents potential services that may be provided. Please contact your local DRS office for additional information on how DRS can help you with your unique vocational service needs.
The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services can help you assess your skills, explore careers, prepare for work, and provide guidance and support along the way. You can search our menu of services by category or click through all services.
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DRS Rehabilitation Counselors can arrange for vocational, educational, medical, or psychological evaluations to be completed with the aim to help a consumer with diagnosis needs, to gain a better understanding of any condition that may be present, and to aid in eligibility determination and vocational planning stages of a consumer’s case.
This service offers consumers a chance to try working in the job they want to do every day. It helps them figure out if they can handle the tasks required for that job. It can also show them what skills they may need to improve, so they can successfully work in a full-time job.
This service helps DRS consumers make choices about their job goals by letting them try different jobs in real workplaces and experience various work tasks.
A trial work experience is like a practice run for a job. It's a chance for someone who's getting help with finding a job, due to a disability, to try working in a real job setting. They get to test the job to see if they like it and if they can handle the tasks. It helps them learn new skills, get comfortable with the work environment, and decide if that type of job is a good match for them before committing to it long term.
Vocational counseling and guidance is like having a friendly helper who talks to you about jobs and careers. They listen to what you're good at, what you like to do, and what you want in a job. Then, they give you ideas and information to help you pick the right job or career path. They might suggest training, give you tips for job hunting, or help you figure out what skills you need for a certain job. Overall, they support you in making decisions about your work life and guide you towards finding a job that suits you.
An Employment Specialist and your Rehabilitation Counselor work together to help you figure out what kind of job might be good for you. They talk about different jobs, industries, and roles that could match your skills and interests. They will explain what each job involves, what's needed, and how the job market looks for those roles so you can better understand your options.
Employment Specialists help individuals get ready for job interviews. They teach them how to talk confidently and professionally during interviews to make a good impression on employers. This includes learning about different types of interviews, understanding what employers look for, and practicing answers to common questions. They assist you with researching the company, understanding the job, and practicing how to talk about strengths and weaknesses. They help consumers explain their skills and experiences in a way that fits the job they are applying for.
Employment specialists use their knowledge to help you create a resume that shows off your skills and experiences, making it more likely for employers to notice and consider you for job interviews.
Application assistance involves an Employment Specialist helping individuals in the process of filling out job applications for employment opportunities.
This service provides consumers with opportunities to connect with a certified benefits counselor to learn how working will affect SSI/SSDI benefits and how to maximize income and resources.
This service provides consumers with 10 sessions to learn about and implement transferable vocational skills needed for any type of job. These skills include social skills, professionalism, effective communication, resume writing, interview skills, and independence skills.
This service provides consumers with opportunities to learn how to conduct an effective job search. Employment Specialists will send job leads directly to consumers on a regular basis.
DRS can refer consumers to and, in certain situations, help with the costs of medical or psychological treatment (on a short-term basis only). DRS can purchase prosthetics, hearing aids, and other adaptive devices to help consumers reach their employment goals. Also, DRS can purchase physical, occupational, speech, or hearing therapy required to assist consumers with meeting their employment goals.
Job coaching is when a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) helps you learn your job. A CRP employee, or job coach, uses specific methods to teach you how to do your job tasks exactly the way your employer wants. They also help you learn how to get along with others at work and in your community. Job coaching is like having a friendly expert who helps you do well and feel comfortable at your job.
The purpose of this service is to provide a consumer with a real-world work experience to assist in developing an understanding of the demands of paid work, improvement of the soft skills needed to be successful in any employment setting, and assist in a better understanding of potential career choices. Consumers who participate in this program will be placed at an integrated job site under the employ of an approved Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP).
The Project SEARCH Transition-to-Work Program is a unique, business-led, one-year employment preparation program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. The program culminates in individualized job development.
Conover online is an online learning platform that assesses and teaches essential life skills to DRS consumers in three areas of career assessment and exploration, including Career Assessment and Exploration, Emotional Intelligence and Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Independent Living Skills. This is web-based learning and can be used on a computer/laptop, tablet, or smartphone and can be used in person, virtually, or both.
DRS can help people pay for school or training to learn job skills. This support can cover things like tuition fees and sometimes even books and supplies needed for the training. They can assist with various types of training, like learning specific job skills or attending schools focused on trades, technology, or business. The goal is to help consumers gain the skills they need for a job they want.
Life skills training from DRS is like going to a class that teaches you important everyday skills. It's about learning how to do things that help you handle daily life and work better. This training might include things like managing money, organizing your time, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and how to handle stress. The goal is to help you become more independent and capable, making it easier to succeed at work and in your personal life.
This service helps consumers learn job skills while actually working at a company or business. It's like getting paid to learn how to do a specific job, where the employer teaches you what you need to know for about 480 hours. During this time, there's an open position in the company that the person receiving training could move into once they've learned the necessary skills. On-the-job training (OJT) means you're learning while you're working. You get to learn the ins and outs of a particular job by actually doing it. This learning happens while you're getting paid and someone with more experience shows you what to do and guides you along the way. It's hands-on experience where you get to practice and gain the skills needed for the job.
Work adjustment training refers to a structured program designed to assist consumers in developing and refining the necessary skills, behaviors, and attitudes required to succeed in a work environment. This training aims to prepare consumers for successful integration into the workforce by helping them adapt to the demands and expectations of a job.
This service provides consumers enrolled in a postsecondary training program with opportunities to learn skills on a job site. It provides 480 hours of training by an employer and is geared towards the consumer's field of study.
In West Virginia, many people with disabilities face challenges getting to and from different places. They may live far from jobs and other important places. DRS is dedicated to helping solve these transportation issues for its consumers. DRS focuses on finding personalized solutions to help right away. DRS Rehabilitation Counselors will talk with consumers early on about their transportation needs. Your Rehabilitation Counselor may offer temporary help, like aiding with transportation costs, so you can receive other needed services. After you finish services, your Rehabilitation Counselor will work with you to figure out a plan for transportation. This could include using public transportation, relying on family and friends, or finding support within the workplace or community to help with transportation needs.
DRS might buy tools and equipment for a consumer when that person needs specific things to learn new job skills or start working.
Learner's permit tutoring services allows for a mentor to teach you everything you need to know about driving including how to handle the car, follow the rules of the road, and stay safe while driving.
This service provides support to consumers to improve their skills, knowledge, and capabilities. Tutoring services are used to help consumers gain specific job-related skills and improve a student’s academic status.
Services for people with vision impairments cover a wide range of individual needs, from basic mobility training to assistive technologies.
The Randolph-Sheppard Program is an opportunity for blind or visually impaired consumers who want to run their own businesses. It helps them become entrepreneurs by teaching them to manage and operate vending facilities, like snack bars or vending machines, in federal or certain other locations. The program provides training, support, and the chance to start and manage their own businesses, giving individuals with qualifying visual impairments the opportunity for self-employment and financial independence.
DRS offers specialized programs and services that help West Virginia citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing to reach their employment goals.
The Student Transition to Employment Program helps eligible high school students with disabilities become ready for work. The Student Transition to Employment Program is designed to train teachers and/or teacher’s aides to become a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) vendor. This unique program allows participating teachers and/or teacher’s aides to work one-on-one with students with disabilities who are graduating from high school. Participating teachers and/or teacher’s aides provide job placement services to a student with whom a comfortable working relationship has already been established. Participating students must be eligible for services from DRS. The STEP program provides a more seamless transition from school to work.
This service provides consumers with opportunities to learn how to conduct an effective job search. DRS Employment Specialists will send job leads directly to consumers on a regular basis.
DRS uses direct placement to directly match a consumer with a suitable job. It's a more hands-on approach compared to regular job placement. This method involves working closely with a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) to assist in finding the right job.
Supported Employment helps consumers with the most significant disabilities, to get or keep jobs in a suitable work environment. Those who qualify for this program need additional help learning their role in the workplace, and they might also need continued support after they start working.
Customized employment is like finding a job that's made just for you. Instead of fitting into a typical job, this approach looks at what you're good at, what you like to do, and matches that with a job. It's about creating or adjusting a job to fit your strengths and skills, while also meeting the needs of the employer. This way, both you and the employer can benefit. It's all about focusing on your abilities, helping you be more independent, and making sure the workplace is inclusive and welcoming for everyone.
Extended Supported Employment Services (ESES) helps consumers with significant disabilities to keep and do well in their jobs. It's not just about finding a job; it's about getting ongoing support to help you stay successful in your work and even grow in your career. The main goal is to make sure people with significant disabilities can be part of the workforce by giving them individualized and ongoing help.
This service provides consumers with the opportunity to have his/her application placed on a selective placement register under WV Division of Personnel. This is only for jobs with the state of West Virginia.
This service provides consumers with assistance completing a federal application on USA JOBS, developing a resume, and receiving a Schedule A letter.
This service provides consumers with guidance on labor market information regarding business ideas, reviewing the Self-Employment Policy, creating a Feasibility Study, Referral to Small Business Regional Coach, Finalizing a Business Plan, and assistance with start-up costs for tangible items (based on eligibility).
This service provides participants with information about career planning and preparation, self-assessments, completing job applications, interviewing skills, how to dress for employment, work ethic, cell phone and Internet safety, and self-advocacy. The service is a total of 24 hours, typically completed in 4 days with 6 hours of service each day. The service is provided in a group setting (maximum of 25 participants) and can be completed in person or virtually.
This service provides participants with information about self-awareness, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individualized Education Plans (IEP), centers for independent living, college accessibility offices, accommodations, and communication skills. The service is a total of 24 hours, typically completed in 4 days with 6 hours of service each day. The service is provided in a group setting (maximum of 25 participants) and can be completed in person or virtually.
This is a computer/technology-based workshop. Students develop the in-demand computer science skills critical to thrive in any of today’s and tomorrow’s careers. The course promotes computational thinking and coding fundamentals and introduces computational tools that foster creativity.
This workshop is intended to introduce adult consumers to computer capabilities and computer terminology. It is geared towards those who have no previous computer knowledge or related work exposure.
This workshop allows students to build and code a Lego-style motorized robot in order to complete a series of S.T.E.A.M.-based exercises.
This is a workshop with interactive activities that provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve long-term financial stability. Key components of a financial literacy workshop typically include fundamental financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, investing, borrowing, banking services, credit scores, interest rates, and understanding financial products; guidance on creating and maintaining a budget, tracking expenses, managing income, prioritizing spending, and making financial plans aligned with personal goals; savings and investments; debt management; understanding credit; consumer rights and protection; financial goal setting; and practical demonstrations and resources like worksheets and tools to reinforce learning.
Students learn about careers in forensic science, job duties, salaries, and educational opportunities while engaging in hands-on learning activities.
This is a workshop where consumers learn soft skills including communication and interpersonal skills, as well as critical thinking and career-based skills to reach gainful employment.
This is a workshop focused on preparation and participation in various types of job interviews, including the development of resumes.
This service involves coordinating structured day visits (up to 8 hours) to campuses of colleges and universities, career and technical education, or other vocational/adult educational facilities.
Re-entry programs are designed to assist formerly incarcerated individuals to effectively re-enter society, save money, increase employment opportunities, and lower the likelihood of re-offending.
Consumers participate in hands-on simulations through a virtual reality platform, showcasing different career paths that will allow consumers to understand their career options and experience what it’s like to work in different careers.
Assistive technology services involve evaluating, recommending, providing, and training consumers to use specialized devices, tools, or software that assist them in performing job-related tasks, improving productivity, and enhancing independence in the workplace. This service is designed to help consumers overcome barriers and achieve successful employment outcomes.
Rehabilitation engineering services involve the application of engineering principles and specialized technology to design, develop, adapt, or customize devices, equipment, or solutions that assist consumers in overcoming barriers to employment or vocational training.
Environmental modification services involve making physical changes or adaptations to work environments, job sites, or vocational training settings to accommodate consumers and enable them to perform job tasks or training activities effectively. These modifications aim to create accessible and inclusive workspaces that minimize barriers and promote the integration of individuals with disabilities into the workforce.
Qualified instructors provide evaluations and recommendations on adaptations to vehicles that could be completed for consumers who have the desire and potential to drive a vehicle.
Consumers receive training to safely operate a motor vehicle using alternate means within their community.