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America’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program Turns 100

February 18, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Education

This year marks 100 years since the establishment of America’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) program, which was created by Congress in 1920 to assist individuals with physical disabilities. It was the first federally funded program to assist people with disabilities who had not acquired their disabilities as a result of serving in the military.

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Fess Act of 1920, also known as the Industrial Rehabilitation Act and referred to as "The National Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act," into law [on] June 2, 1920.

Today, vocational rehabilitation serves people with a range of disabilities, whether visible or not. It also uses a dual-customer approach, working to helps businesses meet their workforce needs and providing consultation and technical assistance.

“The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) plays a key leadership role through its resources and technical assistance to state vocational rehabilitation programs and others,” said Mark Schultz, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ (OSERS) RSA commissioner and delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for OSERS. “Those 100 years of experience bring a responsibility of leadership on issues that impact the ability of individuals with disabilities to be employed and live independently.”

RSA will celebrate 100 Years of VR throughout 2020, and this page will house updated anniversary content.

Employers interested in working with VR can contact the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team (NET).

Link: Go to website for News Source
https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/leg/rehab/vr100/index.html


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