Don't Be Fooled- Your State Department of Human Services will not help you with Vocational Rehabilitation Services .
Are you disabled? I mean do you have some kind of disabiliity that you as a citizen of the state you live in needs vocational rehabilitative services to help you possibly go back to work.
Don't be fooled. Most of the State employers are unsensitive and don't know how to work with persons who have any kind invisible disability.
My personal experience is that the state does not want to do what you think you need to get done so you can go back to work.
Why should they? They don't live in poverty and they don't have to worry if they live on Medicaid, that is barely funded by the State government or Medicare, with the federal cut backs effecting health care services for those entitled to Medicare Health Services.
When a person with a disability makes an appointment with their State DHS/ORS, VRS, or whatever the Vocational Services is called in your state.
You may find out that what you think you need and what they think you need is two different things completely.
I, voluntarily assigned my Ticket To Work and Pass To Self Support over to The Illinois Department of Human Services/ORS last May. However, they don't want to give me those services I think I need to get back to work.
I asked that I be given comprehensive Vocational Testing, Evaulation, and Assessment to determine my weaknesses, strengths, assets, and liabilities.
When I did not get the satisfactory results I wanted from my ORS counselor . I turend to the Client Assistant Program designed to help clients with problems with their ORS counselors.
I got no real help from them. In fact, I received some unprofessional comments from both of them concerning my mental health professionals.
"May be you need to change psychiatrist" The Client Assistant person said.
Yes, right, The state does not give me any medicaid benefits and out of my own pocket I pay the mental health fees.
They recommended I go back and brush up on my skills. I have had enough college to last me a lifetime.
If you are a Social Security Recipient. First of all, go to the website of http://mytickettowork.com
and make sure you check over all the employment networks to make sure the network will give you whatever it takes to go back to work without any problems.
By this I mean, if you need comprehensive vocational testing and evaluation to determine if you should go back to that kind of work.
Also, The Ticket To Work is designed mainly for those who are looking to go back to work "full-time" not part-time.
The Ticket To Work is suppose to help those go back to work full time and this way eventually it will wean you off Social Security benefits all together.
Most likely unless you have a real good skill and a verifiable work history - you will have to settle for minimum wage. You will be receiving less than your SS check is right now.
Ask yourself, is it worth it? Ask yourself what if you can not continue to work full time , then what?
Another thing older disabled persons need to consider is that will you be able to work with the younger crowd.
Will you feel uncomfortable.
How will you feel if you have to work around twenty something or thirty something and you most likely have a child their age?
I know I would not feel comfortable working around someone that is younger than I am and likes the wrong kind of music and with that comes distractions.
I have encountered young adults that have little or no manners. They don't have any notion about common courtsey and respect for their elders. It is as if their parents forgot to teach them to respect someone older than they are.
Some places I have actually been to play the wrong kind of music and with that does come distractions.
The workplace has changed drastically since the last time I worked. I don't see any one dressed appropriate and the work place has become to laxed for me.
The State DHS/VRS, DVS, or ORS will not give those persons with a non-visible disability the support services that is needed.
Some individuals may need work place accomodations, transportation funds, help with appropriate work apparel.
Some individuals may need job coaches and other supported employment services to retain the job.
No one wants to have to fight for that which we are entitled. However, the State decides who it is going to help and who it is not going to help.
Some Practical Advice:
Check out all Employment Networks.
Make sure it does know how to work with persons with non-visible disabilities.
Specific what services you are looking before you assign your Ticket To Work and Pass To Self Support.
Ask what ratio of workers work in the workplace. SO you can feel comfortable when you go back to work.
Ask what supportive services the Employment Network will provide for you to retain the job and for how long?
Persons with a mental, developmental, learning disability or mental retardation will require on-going supportive services to retain the job.
More Practical suggestions: Pull Your Ticket To Work from the Agency in your state if you don't see any significant progress being made one year after you assign your "Ticket To Work" to the state vocational service agency.
Most likely, if you can not go back to work full time. The Ticket to Work will not work for you. You will be on your own.
One thing: Do not go aganist Medical Advice because your medical provider knows what is best for you in the long run.
Don't let any State Vocational Worker try to convince you that you should should try to go back to work full time. Afterall, they don't care if you make it or not. Their job is secure.
If you don't get what you want from the State. Contact Your State Governor.
Most of them have an email address.
Use their email address and let your voice be heard.
It is my experience that very few State Vocational Services know to work with persons with non-visible disabilities and show senstivity towards those of us who have one.