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  The Division of Rehabilitation
       Services (DORS)
 Maryland State Department of Education

      The mission of the Division of
    Rehabilitation Services is to provide
  leadership and support in promoting the
employment, economic self-sufficiency, and
     independence of individuals with
 DORS provides public
 rehabilitation services through two

• Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

• Independent Living (IL)
Vocational Rehabilitation vs.
Independent Living
Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR):
• The VR program, the primary rehabilitation program offered
  through DORS, provides programs and services that assist
  persons with disabilities who want to work or need services to
  keep their current jobs.

Independent Living Services (IL):
• The smaller IL program, provides assistance to persons who
  do not have employment goals. This program helps
  individuals with significant disabilities achieve greater
  independence in their homes and/or communities.
•   Referral
•   Application/Initial Interview
•   Gathering existing records/eligibility assessment
•   Eligibility/Order of Selection
•   Comprehensive assessment of skills and abilities
•   Development of an Individualized Plan for Employment
•   Service Provision
•   Job Development/Placement
•   Case Closure
•   Post-Employment Services (if needed)
• DORS develops and maintains relationships with
    organizations, agencies and persons in the community to
    obtain appropriate and timely referrals
•   Referrals can come from any interested party
•   Referrals can be made online at
•   Referrals can also be mailed, faxed, phoned, or dropped off at
    a local office
•   DORS will respond within 10 days of referral
•   An individual will be scheduled for an initial interview within
    30 days, to meet with a counselor and informed of what to
    bring to the appointment
The counselor/consumer discuss:
• The consumers disability and how it affects work
• The VR program, process, and available services
• Non-discrimination
• The consumers goals, needs, concerns & options
• Rights and responsibilities to include: the Appeal Process, the
  availability of the Client Assistance Program, and
• Eligibility/Order of selection
• Comparable benefits/Financial participation
• Preferred mode of communication/alternate format needs
• The consumers assistive technology needs, if necessary
A consumer may be eligible if:
• The consumer has a physical, mental,
  cognitive, or sensory impairment that results in
  a substantial impediment to employment
• The consumer requires vocational services to
  prepare for, secure, retain or regain
  employment consistent with their strengths,
  interests, and abilities
• The consumer is presumed eligible if they
  receive SSI or SSDI
• Reviewing existing medical or educational
  records, determinations made by other
  agencies, information provided by consumer,
  and counselor observations
• Providing medical assessments at no cost, if
DORS may provide a comprehensive
assessment to:

• Identify interests, strengths, and needs

• Assist in development of vocational goal

Comprehensive assessment includes career
decision making, counseling and referral for other
needed services.
• An IPE identifies employment goal consistent with
    strengths, resources, abilities, interests and informed
    choice. The plan lists the steps and services necessary
    to achieve the goal, and who will provide those
•   The IPE identifies how the financial contribution, if
    any, will be applied to services.
•   A consumer may draft an IPE or have help from
    others, including the counselor.
•   The IPE must be approved prior to implementation.
DORS provides and/or
arranges personalized support
and employment services so the
consumer can plan and follow
a path to success.

• Career Assessment              • Medical Rehabilitation
• Career Guidance and                Services
    Counseling                   •   Transitioning Services
•   Prevocational Services       •   Services to the Blind and
                                     Vision Impaired
•   Vocational Training/Higher   •   Services to the Deaf and
    education                        Hard of Hearing
•   Supported Employment         •   Job Development and
    Services                         Placement Services
•   Self-Employment Services     •   Assistive Technology
Celebrating Employment

• Once the consumer begins working, keeping in touch with the
    DORS counselor to discuss the progress and job satisfaction is
•   DORS can provide services to assist the consumer with
    maintaining employment as needed
•   Once the consumer has worked at least 90 days, they become
    a DORS success story and the case is closed
•   Post-Employment Services can be requested as needed
    following case closure
•   If the consumer needs services again in the future, they may
    reapply for DORS services
DORS also operates the Workforce
and Technology Center (WTC).

WTC is one of nine state-operated comprehensive
 rehabilitation facilities in the country.
WTC provides a wide range of services to individuals
 with significant disabilities.
WTC offers participants the skills and information
 needed to move into today’s competitive workplace,
 along with the individual attention that participants
 need to learn at their own pace.
WTC services include:
Career Assessment Services (CAS):

• Provide information about strengths, capabilities,
  priorities, concerns, and interests
• Are systematic and organized
• Are flexible and customized
• Requires collaboration
• Requires several sources of input
• Are used to make decisions
• Are used to develop plans
Rehabilitation Technology Services

 Provides professional consultations,
 assessments and training in the use of assistive
 technology, designed to enable individuals
 with disabilities to be successful in the areas of
 work, education, independent living and
 personal care.
Comprehensive Outpatient
Rehabilitation Facility Program:
•   Medical-Functional Evaluations
•   Functional Capacity Evaluations
•   Individual Therapy Assessments
•   Physical Restoration Services
•   Equipment Recommendations
•   Home Assessments
•   Workplace Assessments
•   Case Management Services
VR Policies and Procedures

• Overview of Self-Employment
• RISE Program
• Role of Division
Overview of Self-Employment
• Consistent with Division policy and procedures,
    services may be provided to individuals with a
    vocational goal involving development and
    management of their own businesses.
•   Structure and extensive assessment and planning are
    required in order to provide the individual with
    information needed to make decisions which will
    lead to successful employment outcomes.
RISE Program
• Self-employment services are provided through the
    RISE program (Reach Independence through Self-
    Employment), which is designed to promote and
    facilitate self-employment.
•   The RISE program involves partnerships with
    community providers and agencies, and provides
    participants with market information critical to
    selection of an industry/business and assist in the
    identification of financial resources.
Role of Division

 The primary role of the Division in assisting an
 individual with a vocational goal of self-
 employment is to provide support and
 information throughout the assessment,
 planning and implementation process,
 including assisting with the identification of
 community resources.
What if a consumer is unable to work,
but still needs some type of assistance
to increase independence at home or
in the community?
DORS Independent Living
A consumer may be eligible if:
• The consumer has a significant physical, mental,
  cognitive or sensory impairment which substantially
  limits the consumers ability to function independently
  in their family or community
• It is determined that IL services will improve the
  consumers ability to function, continue functioning,
  or move toward functioning independently
• An ILP is developed in collaboration with the
  consumer to achieve the IL goal.

• The ILP includes the independent living goal,
  services, providers and projected time frames
  for services, and information regarding
  financial participation.
Case Studies. . .
Mr. P
• A 54 year old who had his right leg amputated, eight inches
  below the knee. Owned 250 acres of land which he grows
  corn, soybean, wheat, barley and hay. Has 50 head of cattle,
  which he grows for meat and breeding.
• Referral received from the Delaware-Maryland AgrAbility
  Project with supporting documentation
• AgrAbiity, DORS, WTC and Center for Independent Living
  representatives visited the consumer at home for the initial
• Consumer received worksite modifications, vehicle
  modifications and home modifications
Mrs. L
• A 54 year old poultry grower diagnosed with Fibromyalgia,
  Lupus, Disc Disease and Depression which hindered her
  ability to perform her job
• Referral received from Delaware-Maryland Extension Center
• Delaware-Maryland Extension Center, DORS, Easter Seals,
  Choptank Electric, RISE Program and WTC involved in the
  initial intake
• Consumer received services and funding from the Design Unit
  at WTC, funding for simple modifications from Choptank
  Electric Cooperative Grant, and evaluation of the business
  through the RISE program for DORS funding
Mrs. F
• A 50 year old poultry grower who has been dignosed with
    arthritis in her hands,arms, back, knees, and hips.
•   Referral received from Delaware-Maryland AgrAbility Project
    with documentation
•   Easter Seals, Extension Center, WTC, RISE Program and
    DORS involved in initial meetings
•   Consumer unable to perform functions without extreme strain
    on her body joints
•   Consumer received services through WTC and funding
    through DORS
      Questions and Answers

An online referral form is available at This form can also be
mailed, faxed or taken to a DORS office.

Call the nearest DORS office. To find your
nearest office, call toll-free
1-888-554-0334 or visit


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