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Vocational Rehabilitation—100 Years Later

June 5, 2020

This year marks the 100th anniversary of 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 June 2, 1920.

“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.

June 2, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. OSERS’ Rehabilitation Services Administration paid tribute to this historical occasion by showcasing how the VR program helped change the lives of students and adults with disabilities!

You can now watch this celebration on YouTube: [Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB2MAHq5hxY&feature=youtu.be]

Access the transcript and additional VR100 materials and resources at the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM). [Note: Scroll down this page to view resources.]

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


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