If you are blind or visually impaired Vocational Rehabilitation services can help you find a job, keep a job or return to work. You will work with a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor who can help you obtain the services you need to find work or continue working. Although your VR Counselor is your primary service provider you may receive services from other staff members and providers as needed.
These services and programs may include:
- Assistive Technology
- College/University Training
- On-the-Job Training
- Diagnostic Eye Exams and Medical Exams
- Evaluation Unit
- Job Development/Placement
- On-the-Job Training
- Physical Restoration (limited services available)
- DSB Career and Training Center (formerly the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind)
- Supported Employment
- Transition Services
- Vocational Training
Some services are provided based on economic need, some are provided regardless of income and others are provided as required by the individual to be successful on a specific job.
Assistive Technology (AT) makes it possible for individuals with visual impairments to lead independent and fulfilling lives. We can provide you with a full array of services so that you can be more independent.
Our services include:
- Individual Assessment
- Technology Training
- Jobsite Assessment
- Mobility Aids
We offer purchasing assistance with this equipment (if eligible).
Job Development and Job Placement
If you are ready for look for employment and require assistance with job development and job placement services, the DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Program has staff specifically trained to assist you in this area to help you realize your vocational goals.
Job development and placement services may include:
- Career Exploration and Goal Setting
- Job Search
- Resume Writing
- Job Application Completion
- Accessing Community Job Search/Application Resources
- Interview Skills
- Work Readiness Skills
- Job Retention and Job Maintenance Skills
- Accessibility in the Workplace
- Advocacy on the Job
- Meetings with Employers
- Assistive Technology on the Job
- Developing a Transportation Plan for Work
- Job Shadowing
- Obtaining Work Experience
- Job Skill Development
If you need a comprehensive program to develop personal and vocational skills to live and work independently, your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor may refer you to the DSB Career and Training Center in Raleigh. We provide programs in a residential setting where you can live in on-campus dormitories with around-the-clock staffing. You will work with the rehabilitation staff to achieve personal and career goals. Guidance and counseling is available to students during rehabilitation training.
Classes may include:
- Adult Basic Education
- Adaptive Technology
- Braille Technology
- College Prep
- Keyboarding and Computer Skills
- Consumer Education
- Leisure Education
- Orientation and Mobility
- Techniques of Daily Living
Supported employment is work performed in a competitive setting with services to help you maintain employment. These services are normally provided by a job coach through an extended services generally provided for up to 18 months of employment.Supported Employment.
There are four basic components to Supported Employment:
- Job placement services
- Intensive On-the-Job training
- Long-term follow up
Not everyone will qualify for supported work services, but if you are eligible for Supported Employment, you will require multiple services and long-term follow up to help maintain a successful employment.
Services for High School-Aged and College Students
If you are a high school student who is blind, has a visual impairment, or if you have both vision and hearing loss, we can help you plan your move from school to employment. Our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors can work with your teachers and guidance counselors to help you find work in the job of your choice.
You can start your school-to-work transition as early as age 14 to explore the world of work and identify your career interests. Search different skill and educational requirements along with future job availability, and take part in activities such as visiting employers, working side-by-side with someone who has a career that interests you, or doing volunteer work to gain experience.
Summer Transition Programs
Summer Transition Programs are offered through our DSB Career and Training Center in Raleigh. Some programs provide opportunities to explore career interests as well as take specialized classes in areas such as Braille, safe travel, technology and daily living skills. Some programs offer paid work experiences. If you plan to attend college in the future, our College Prep program is designed to help college bound students prepare for life after high school.
Vocational and College Training
Our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor can assist you in finding a school that will prepare you for your career goals. We can help you to identify financial resources that might cover part or all of the costs of your training, which may include financial assistance from the Division of Services for the Blind (DSB). If you require any services or assistive technology be sure to discuss it with your counselor so that we can help get you the tools you need to succeed.
If you need college or university training to find a job or continue working in your chosen field, one of our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors may be able to assist you.
If you need training through a community college, technical school, business or trade school to get or keep a job, one of our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors may be able to assist you.
Services for Job Seekers
After you go to work, we will stay in touch with you for several months to help you succeed. If you or your employer has a concern, we will work with both of you to resolve the issues. Or, if your job duties change, we can help you make the transition and identify modifications that might be required.
If you are ready to work, we are ready to help you find a job based on your interests and abilities. Our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors will assist you with locating potential job openings and may be able to arrange on-the-job training with your employer. If you attend training after high school, we will begin working with you to find employment as you move toward graduation.
We can assist you with on-the-job training while you learn the necessary skills to fully and adequately perform the required duties.
Vocational evaluations are available to assess your vocational abilities, limitations, aptitudes and interests to help you and your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor develop an employment goal.
If you are a resident of North Carolina with vision impairment who meets the criteria for low-vision or legal blindness and your vision impairment prevents you from finding or keeping a job, you may be eligible for our Vocational Rehabilitation services.
How to Apply
If you are interested in obtaining our services, set up a meeting with one of our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The Counselor will explain the services, assist you with the application forms and obtain and required reports.