Vocational Rehabilitation Frequently Asked Questions
What is Vocational Rehabilitation?
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a program that provides the services, equipment, and training you need to get a job, return to a job, keep a job or get a better job. In Missouri, VR services for people with visual disabilities are delivered by a state agency called Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB).
Who can receive VR se rvices?
To receive vocational rehabilitation services from RSB...
You must have a visual impairment or disability which severely limits your ability to get or keep a job. We serve people with all disabilities, but one of them must be visual.
You must need VR services to prepare for work, or to get or keep a job.
How do I get in touch with RSB?
You can call RSB at 1-800-592-6004. You will then choose from a menu to select the office nearest you. Your call will be answered by someone in one of our district offices. We’ll ask you some questions, answer any questions you may have, and put you in touch with one of our rehabilitation counselors.
How do I prepare for my first interview with an RSB counselor?
Soon after you have contacted RSB (usually less than two weeks), you will be contacted by a counselor who will set up an appointment at a time and place convenient for you. This first appointment is usually held in your home, but it can be at an RSB office or some other location, if you prefer. Once your appointment is set, it’s very helpful if you gather recent medical records, especially the results of any eye exams. School and work records are also valuable at this first meeting. Before the appointment, complete the VR Checklist (PDF) to give your counselor the information needed to get your rehabilitation started in the right direction.
How does my rehabilitation begin?
Vocational rehabilitation usually starts with your first interview with an RSB counselor. Counselors are professionals who are trained to work with people with disabilities and assist them in developing a plan to reach their work goals. The counselor will discuss your strengths, identify any limitations you have, and help you determine your goals in entering or reentering the world of work. At this meeting, you will decide whether or not to apply for services. If you decide to apply, you will sign an application for services and the process begins.
How do I learn if I’m eligible for services?
Your counselor does most of the eligibility determination. Your visual condition and its impact on your ability to work are the most important factors. If the medical records you provide at the first interview are not enough to verify your visual eligibility, your counselor might ask you to sign a release of information so we can obtain current eye information from your doctor. If no recent eye information is available, you might be asked to take a vision test or examination, at no cost to you. All of this must be done within 60 days, unless you agree to an extension. We will try to do it as quickly as possible. Once the eligibility decision is made, your counselor will notify you by letter.
Now that I’m eligible, what happens next?
Once your eligibility is approved, the next step is to create a plan for employment just for you.
Now that I have a plan for employment, how do I keep that plan moving?
Once you’ve started receiving the services listed on your plan for employment, there are certain things you can expect from your counselor and certain things your counselor needs to expect from you. Let’s start with the counselor’s responsibilities.
Once we have finished my employment plan, is my contact with the RSB counselor over?
What if I disagree with my counselor about anything?
There is a system to make sure that you exercise choice in your selection of goals, services, providers, and employment during your rehabilitation. If you disagree with any decision made by your counselor or anyone at RSB, you have the right to use any or all of the methods to settle the disagreement.