Cerebral Palsy and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy

Vocational RehabilitationCerebral PalsyCerebral PalsyCerebral Palsy

Formed in 1920 and originally designed to assist individuals with physical disabilities, the federal/state vocational rehabilitation (VR) system was amended in 1943, allowing people with mental illness and developmental disabilities to receive services as well. The guidelines and structure of the VR system currently, however, remain better suited to serve those persons who are affected by a static, non-changing condition, such as cerebral palsy, rather than a condition in which one’s health may worsen, such as a mental illness.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

The Federal Rehabilitation Act defines a disability as any mental or physical condition that considerably hinders a major life function. Areas of functioning identified in the statute include communication, mobility, the ability to set and pursue goals, the ability to acquire and express work skills, work endurance, and the ability to cultivate and maintain interpersonal relationships.

 At the Federal level, the VR system is overseen by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), which every year allots grants to each state to manage its own VR agenda. In each state and territory a state unit is selected to administer the VR program (for example, in Illinois, it is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services), with sizeable autonomy in how the services are directed. State-employed vocational rehabilitation counselors ascertain eligibility for VR services based on Federal guidelines, provide vocational and supportive counseling and job placement services, purchase or locate supplementary sources of funding for services to help people reach their vocational goals, monitor and coordinate the delivery of these services, and monitor individuals’ advancement. Among the services funded by state VR agencies are: situational, on-the-job assessments of work performance; work adjustment training to build stamina, attendance, etc.; personal adjustment training to gauge and develop the "soft skills" (e.g. co-worker relationships) needed for job success; on-the-job training that pays the employee’s salary for a limited time after job placement; and time-limited job coaching to provide employee/employer support on and off-site.

 As well as the aforementioned services offered by VR programs, the government has included supported employment, allocated to states on a formula grant basis, as a enhancement to services provided under the typical VR program. Supported employment closure is completed when the person with the disability retains employment for 90 days or more under Federal criteria. The key standard by which the Federal government judges the success of the state VR programs is the number of successful closures produced each year.

 Given that all types of individuals with acute mental or physical disabilities are potentially qualified for VR services, state rehabilitation counselor caseloads are often considerable, and may include persons with a broad series of disabilities. These include persons with cerebral palsy, mental illnesses, neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, heart disease, HIV, histories of alcohol and substance abuse, developmental disabilities, those who are deaf and/or blind, among other disabling conditions. Also, state rehabilitation counselors are expected to be familiar with an overwhelming range of technologies and with the professions that employ them.

 The short-range goals of rehabilitation programs are to enable people with impairments to operate at their highest possible physical, social, and psychological level. The more long-term goals have to do with society’s desire to enhance a person’s capacity to work or otherwise function independently, thereby diminishing public expenditures. Therefore, rehabilitation counselors often face competing priorities in terms of furthering the social mission of the program within the context of the agency’s opposing political concerns and economic restrictions.

 Individual Employment Plans (IEPs), which call for committed participation of the individual and his or her significant others, allow people to decide on their own vocational goals, the services required to reach them, and their preferred service provider. Because VR programs often establish contracts with outside vendors, they can connect people with agencies that offer specific services that may not be offered elsewhere. IEPs embody a successful way to make certain that services are suitable to reaching personal employment objectives and can be adapted to include new and improved vocational rehab services.

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Cerebral Palsy and Jobs, Estate Planning, Health Insurance,
Letters of Medical Necessity, IDEA, DDA & Bill of Rights Act,
Americans with Disabilites Act, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Vocational Rehab.