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American Indian VR Services

Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Liaison

1802 NW Ferris Avenue
Lawton, OK 73507

Office: (580) 585-4207
Fax: (580) 585-4232

Special thanks

The cover photo on the brochure is courtesy of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Eagle Aviary and is of the eagle Wadase Zhabwe. His story can be found at the Potawatomi website.


Many Nations, United Voice Video


Announcer: American Indians with disabilities who seek employment often walk alone on a frightening path, where their own skills and abilities are not easily recognized. Assisting tribal members with disabilities in preparing for and obtaining employment-based on each individual’s abilities and interest is the mission of the Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation program located across the state of Oklahoma.

Many Nations, United Voices

Presented by Oklahoma Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Council and Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Announcer: Oklahoma Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Programs provide culturally appropriate services to any eligible American Indian. In order to receive services, you must be a member of a federally recognized tribe and live within the tribal vocational rehabilitation service area. You must be able and willing to gain employment after receiving rehabilitation services. Once you’re determined eligible, you and your VR counselor will develop a written plan based on your specific needs.

Types of services may include guidance and counseling, physical and mental restoration, training services, rehabilitation technology, job placement and other goods or services that determined necessary to help you go to work. Each Oklahoma Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation program has a working partnership with the state of Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. As a consumer, you have the option to work with both programs during the rehabilitation process.

Michael Jackson, Consumer: “It was not just a working relationship between them, but it was a team effort. They kept each other appraised of my support system, which was a large number of agencies.”

Announcer: The VR process unfolds into seven steps. They are Application, Evaluation, Determination of Eligibility, Planning, Receiving VR services, Employment, and Post-Employment Services.

The American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is designed to assist eligible Native Americans with disabilities in becoming employed.

In Oklahoma, the program provides culturally appropriate services to individuals through a cooperative agreement between the state of Oklahoma and federal and tribal service providers.

Each Oklahoma tribal vocational rehabilitation program has a working partnership with DRS. VR clients have the option to work with both programs during the rehabilitation progress.

Examples of available services include vocational, medical and psychological evaluations, vocational counseling and guidance, physical and mental restoration, training, rehabilitation equipment and devices and job placement.

In counties served by participating nations or tribes, individuals may be eligible for services if they:

  • have proof of citizenship from a state or federally recognized tribe,
  • reside within an area served by a participating nation or tribe,
  • have physical or mental disabilities which are barriers to employment,
  • can benefit from vocational rehabilitation services to obtain an employment outcome, and
  • require VR services to get, keep or return to work.

A tribal liaison from the Department of Rehabilitation Services provides technical assistance to the program which is funded through the U. S. Department of Education Grant Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services.

How to apply

Step 1: Locate an office nearest you, use this link to find the state office and contact information that serves your area.

Step 2: Call for an appointment

Step 3: Fill out an application

Step 4: Gather as much medical information as you can

Step 5: Show up for the appointment to complete the application


You may complete an online self-referral, and someone from DRS will contact you to initiate the application process.


Keys to Success

  • Keep in contact with your counselor
  • Let him or her know if you move or change phone numbers
  • Complete any assignments


A person may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services if he or she has a significant physical, emotional, mental, or learning disability that is a substantial barrier to employment and requires VR services to prepare for, obtain, keep or return to work.

What to bring

Copy of documentation verifying the disabling condition(s), copy of academic transcript(s), Social Security card, picture ID, immigration status documentation if not a US citizen, medical insurance verification, if available.

Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Council Members

Apache Tribe of Oklahoma

Cherokee Nation

Cheyenne and Arapaho

Chickasaw Nation

Choctaw Nation

Comanche Nation

Delaware Nation

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma

Muscogee Creek Nation

Wichita and Affiliated Tribes

Oklahoma Works brings all of our state’s workforce resources together, connecting employers, employees and job-seekers to information and programs that help build Oklahoma’s workforce.