Amputee Coalition Fact Sheet

Introduction to Vocational Rehabilitation

Ana-Maria Gutierrez Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides an overview of Vocational Rehabilitation and the services/resources it provides. CareerOneStop says Vocational Rehabilitation is a U.S. Department of Education-funded program that provides services in every state and territory, and many Indian nations. The organization serves all disability groups.  

This link directs you to the Rehabilitation Services website, where you can find information on services in your state or within a specific locale.  

Participants Eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services

According to CareerOneStop, these are the qualifications for VR services. 

  1. You must have a physical or mental impairment that presents a substantial barrier to employment and be able to benefit from VR services to achieve employment. 
  2. You must need VR services to prepare for a job or to get, keep, or regain a job. 
  3. People who receive disability benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, are considered eligible for programs and services under Vocational Rehabilitation.  

People within the limb loss/limb difference community would be eligible for programs and services under Vocational Rehabilitation.  

Services Under Vocational Rehabilitation  

According to CareerOneStop, Vocational Rehabilitation is an individualized employment program. Participants may receive a diagnosis, an individualized rehabilitation program, counseling and guidance, training (such as on-the-job training), job placement, and services to support job retention. Many applicants are referred from schools, hospitals, and other organizations, but you may apply directly for services.  

Introduction of Pre-Employment Transition Services, Participants Eligible for the Program, and Programs and Services Available Under the Program

 According to Syracuse University’s School of Education, pre-employment transitional services (Pre-ETS) assist students with disabilities, aged 14-21, with career planning. This includes:  

  • Career Exploration: Learning about self-interests, skills, and abilities  
  • Workplace-Readiness Skills: Soft skills, interviewing, applications, resumes, getting the job, and keeping the job 
  • Postsecondary Options: Colleges, training schools, workforce, connecting with adult services, etc. You can explore postsecondary options by requesting a vocational evaluation through a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor before you graduate from high school  
  • Self-Advocacy: Speaking up for yourself, disclosing disability, understanding disability, differences to be expected from school age to adulthood 
  • Work-Based Learning: This can include having a student placed within an organization or with an employer and completing an on-the-job training program for a number of weeks, typically 3-12   

How to Apply and Documentation Needed To Qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation and Pre-ETS Services  

You can apply for services at your local Vocational Rehabilitation office or American Job Center where vocational staff members are located.  

Link to locate Vocational Rehabilitation Offices.
Link to locate American Job Centers. 

 Documentation from a medical provider will be needed to move forward with the eligibility process.   

For Pre-ETS services, you can apply for Vocational Rehabilitation services at your local office. 

Link to locate Vocational Rehabilitation Offices 

Documentation such as an individualized education program or Section 504 plan, showing the student has a documented disability and needs accommodation within an academic setting, would be needed to move forward with the eligibility process.  


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Amputee Coalition 
601 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 420, South Building, Washington, DC 20004

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It is not the intention of the Amputee Coalition to provide specific medical or legal advice but rather to provide consumers with information to better understand their health and healthcare issues. The Amputee Coalition does not endorse any specific treatment, technology, company, service, or device. Consumers are urged to consult with their healthcare providers for specific medical advice or before making any purchasing decisions involving their care.

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90LLRC0001-04-00, from the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.