Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Special Education share responsibility in preparing youth with disabilities for the transition from school to post-high school employment, education, specialized training and independence.
The local school district is primarily responsible for providing transition-related services while a student is still in school. However for students with disabilities who are, or may be, eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation services, communication and collaboration with VR may help to ensure a smoother transition.
VR's role is primarily one of planning and preparing for when a student graduates or exits the school system. Successful transition planning involves VR counselors and educators working together to encourage students and their families to think about goals for life after high school and develop a plan to get there.
VR also works in partnership with individual school districts to provide students with disabilities an opportunity to obtain high school credit for paid work experience prior to graduation or exit from school. This transition service is called the Cooperative Work-Experience Program (COOP), and it is provided through a statewide intra-agency agreement within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education between VR and Special Education.
Eligibility for VR services is determined by the VR counselor on an individual basis. The counselor must certify that the individual has a physical or mental impairment that causes limitations to employment and requires VR services to prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment.
At all stages throughout the VR program, eligible students will be provided vocational information and guidance allowing them to make informed choices regarding their vocational plan. Eligible students may receive one or more of the following transition-related services, which include but are not limited to:
- vocational planning
- career guidance and counseling
- on-the-job training
- assistance with finding a job
- independent living services at centers for independent living
If you are interested in applying for VR services, and want to know what to bring to your first meeting with a VR counselor, click here.
To view a short video introducing VR Transition Services, click here.
To obtain a copy of the VR Transition brochure, click here.
To obtain a copy of the DESE Transition Agreement, click here.
For a general overview of the VR-SPED COOP Program, click here.
For more information regarding the VR-SPED COOP Program, click here.
To obtain a copy of the COOP Roles and Responsibilities for a WEC, click here.
To obtain a copy of the COOP Roles and Responsibilities for a VRC, click here.
For more information about the Transition Toolkit, click here.
For more information about VR Transition services, take a look at the Transition Roadmap, click here.
For additional questions or to make comments regarding VR Transition Services, e-mail: Transition Services.