Who can benefit from such programs? Let's look at a couple of actual examples to see some of the Transition and Youth services that might be available to young adults, which ACCES-VR considers to be any individual from late high school age through age 25:
- "Sam", a twelfth grader at a public high school, hopes to attend a local college. Sam is a good student who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He has an IEP and, as part of his post-high school transition planning, his IEP Team is looking at what he will need to succeed in college. Although ACCES-VR and other vocational rehabilitation agencies provide adult services, they also work with high school aged youth who will be in need of support to move to adult employment. Through ACCES-VR Sam may get help (beyond what his high school can provide) to learn to drive so he can travel from his home to the local college.
- "Sally", who is 24, had graduated from college and was working at her first job when she suffered an emotional crisis. She left her job, moved back to her parents' house, and was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder. She entered treatment and slowly, over a number of months, felt better and wanted to go back to work. Through ACCES-VR, she was referred to an agency that helped her get back into the work force, with the help of an understanding employer and a job coach. After a period of time in this supportive environment, she was ready to move on to the regular job market and is now again employed in her chosen field.
For individuals over the age of 25, ACCES-VR offers services to assist with entering or re-entering the workforce. You can get a good overview of these adult services in a brochure they publish.
Since vocational rehabilitation programs are operated individually by each state, residents of New Jersey should contact their program at Jobs for Jersey and those in Connecticut should contact that state's Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. Residents of other states can check a list from the federal Department of Education to find their state's agency. Note that individuals with visual impairments are dealt with via other agencies, so the list may contain a separate agency for these individuals.