Vocational rehabilitation

The job search: not so daunting with the right help.

DRS vocational rehabilitation professionals can help you identify and address work-related employment barriers so you can succeed on the job.

DRS enables and empowers people with disabilities to work! Embarking on a rewarding career path may be easier than you think.

DRS is here to assist West Virginians with disabilities, who are determined to work, eliminate barriers to employment. Together, we help you understand how potential work-related barriers can be modified and adjusted to increase your success in the workforce.

DRS rehabilitation professionals help you discover your interests and abilities so that you can choose the right vocational goal.

Once your skills and employment goals are identified, DRS will provide services necessary for you to achieve your job objectives. Your interests and choices are an essential part of the process.

Services include:

  • Career exploration activities
  • Vocational training
  • College assistance
  • Work-based learning experiences
  • Job coaching
  • On-the-job training, internships or apprenticeships
  • Résumé development
  • Job search assistance
  • Assistive technology
  • Workplace accommodations
  • And much more

A successful rehabilitation means you have met your employment goal and that may take anywhere from several months to several years. Learn more about the vocational rehabilitation process!

Are you eligible?

Eligibility is based on three factors:

  • you have a physical or mental condition that interferes with your ability to get or keep a job;
  • you can benefit from services in terms of an employment outcome; and
  • you need vocational rehabilitation services to get or keep a job.

To determine your eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, an initial interview is set up between you and a rehabilitation counselor. If you wish, a friend or family member may accompany you. Your counselor will talk with you about your career plans and the services you feel are necessary to reach an employment goal. The counselor will ask about your work history, education and disability.

If possible, bring any reports (medical, psychological, etc.) from people who have previously provided services to you. You should also bring your work history. This will help your counselor more quickly determine your eligibility for DRS services.

DRS is required by law to maintain your confidentiality. All personal information provided by you or any other source is strictly confidential and won't be released to anyone (other than your legal guardian, if applicable) without your written consent.

Making a plan

After you have been determined eligible for services, the next step will be to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with your counselor. The IPE is an agreement between you and DRS that describes the services that will be provided for you to meet your employment goal.

Evaluation, counseling, job development and placement services are provided at no cost to you. You may be required to share the cost of some services, but your rehabilitation counselor will talk to you about any costs before services start.

Your right to appeal

Your rehabilitation counselor will explain your rights at various times during the vocational rehabilitation process. If you have been denied services and you disagree with that decision, you can file an appeal. If you need help preparing the appeal, you can call the Client Assistance Program (CAP) operated by Disability Rights of West Virginia You may contact a CAP representative directly through the Disability Rights of West Virginia at 1-800-950-5250 (V/TDD). This is a toll-free call within West Virginia.

Apply for services

If you are interested in applying for services, you may contact a DRS office near you or submit a request online.