Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
Vocational Rehabilitation Services / Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
We are committed to treating individuals with disabilities fairly and with respect. As an applicant and as a consumer, if you are eligible for services, you can expect VR/SBVI to:
- Contact you by phone or in person within 30 days if you are referred for services or ask VR/SBVI about services.
- Evaluate you for and provide VR/SBVI services, if you are eligible, without regard to your race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability.
- Determine whether you are eligible to receive services, generally within 60 days. If you are legally blind, you will also be referred to a rehabilitation teacher to find out if you are eligible for rehabilitation teaching services.
- Include you as a full participant in decisions about your vocational rehabilitation.
- Look for services and benefits available to you through other programs, although DRS will provide VR services if contacting other programs would cause delays in any of these situations: reaching the employment goal in your IPE; getting an available job; or receiving services if you are at extreme medical risk.
- Provide relevant information so that you can make informed choices about your program.
- Authorize services for you according to your IPE.
- Notify you in writing as soon as possible about any negative decision concerning your case.
- Inform you of your right to a fair hearing or mediation when you disagree with decisions about your case, and refer you to the Client Assistance Program for help in resolving concerns you may have about your VR case.
You also have responsibilities as an applicant or consumer. To help make your vocational rehabilitation a success, you should:
- Provide information and be available to complete the assessment process to find out if you are eligible for services.
- Be on time and keep appointments with VR/SBVI staff, doctors and others. Call in advance or as soon as possible if you cannot come to an appointment.
- Follow the advice of doctors and other medical professionals.
- Apply for and use benefits, services and additional sources of funding — such as education grants, public welfare programs and private insurances — to help pay for your VR services if other funding is available to you.
- Participate with your VR/SBVI counselor in developing your IPE, including participating in assessments needed to determine your needs and strengths.
- Make progress toward completing the steps outlined in your IPE in order to reach your employment goal.
- Provide enrollment documents to your counselor, if your IPE includes educational and training services. When your IPE includes college, provide enrollment documents to your counselor before the college's designated drop and add deadline.
- Attend education or training classes on a regular basis and make at least passing grades, if your IPE includes these services.
- Review your IPE with your counselor at least once per year and participate in making revisions to the plan when needed.
- Inform your counselor of changes in your address, financial status or other program-related changes.
- Abstain from drug and alcohol abuse. Refusal or failure to cooperate will be considered reasonable cause to end services.
- Work with your counselor to get or keep suitable employment when your other services are completed.