Steps in the DVRS Process
The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) works with students who have disabilities, including those with a 504 Plan or other documented disability that impedes a student’s ability to succeed in competitive employment.
By giving you the services you need to find the right job, DVRS will make your transition from school to work an easy one.
As a student, you may be referred to DVRS at age 14. The person who refers you may be a staff person from your school like a teacher or someone on your child study team, but your parent or another adult can refer you to DVRS as well. You may also refer yourself by completing the form online or calling your local DVRS office to complete the form via telephone.
After you have been referred to DVRS, you will come to a local DVRS office for an intake appointment. This appointment is called a "survey interview." At this interview you will meet a DVRS counselor. The DVRS counselor will talk to you about DVRS and explain the services you may need, to get a good job and be successful. As a student, you can receive Pre-ETS services which will assist with developing skills.
- Services: "Services" refer to the different kinds of help you may need to get and keep a job. Services include "vocational counseling and guidance." This is when the DVRS counselor helps you decide what job skills you have and what type of work you want to do, and then helps you find the right job when you graduate.
- Post high school opportunities for employment/careers: Some people may need other kinds of services such as having a "job coach." A job coach is a person who can come to your workplace to help you learn your job. Other services could include some kind of training or schooling that will help you learn how to do your job or prepare for your career.
- What to know before coming to the survey interview: You may choose to go to your survey interview by yourself or with someone. You may bring a parent or other adult who knows you well, but if you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian must be present during the interview. You may also choose to speak with the counselor alone for all or part of the appointment.
- Confidentiality: It is important to know that this is a confidential interview. If you want to share information from this interview with others—including your school—you (if you are 18 or older) or your parent or guardian (if you are under the age of 18) will need to give written permission to the DVRS counselor.
- The DVRS counselor will ask you to bring personal information to the survey interview. Such information could include your Social Security card, your student ID, paperwork from your doctor, and school records DVRS does not have.
- During this interview the counselor will ask you questions about yourself. You can see examples of these questions in the Survey Interview Guide. You may be asked to add to the list, or you may want to share more information with your counselor.
- DVRS is a voluntary service. At the end of the survey interview, the DVRS counselor will ask you if you would like to take the next step in working with DVRS. If you do, you will sign the application form. If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian will co-sign the form. The next step will be for the DVRS counselor to determine if you are eligible to receive DVRS services.
Your DVRS counselor will review your school and medical records. With your permission (or your parent's or guardian's permission if you are under the age of 18), the counselor may talk to your school, doctor, or other adults to determine if you are eligible for DVRS assistance. This information also helps a counselor determine which supports and services you will need for a job. Being eligible for DVRS means that you need some type of service to help you obtain and maintain a job. You will get a letter in the mail letting you know if you are eligible. If you are eligible, we will ask you to make an appointment with your DVRS counselor.
Eligibility is not needed for Pre-Employment Transition Services.
If you are determined eligible for DVRS, the next step is to work with your DVRS counselor to develop your Individual Plan for Employment (IPE). Your IPE includes your vocational goals (the type of work you will be doing) and the services you will receive in order to meet those goals.
Your DVRS counselor and you will decide together what your vocational goals will be and what services you will receive. Your IPE is your plan to help you get the job you want. It is also about getting a job that matches your interests, abilities, strengths, limitations, and skills.
An IPE is not needed for Pre-Employment Transition Services.
You will continue working with DVRS until you have been employed for at least 90 days and you are no longer receiving services. Once you have reached 90 days of employment, your case with DVRS will be closed under rehabilitated status. If your case is closed while receiving supported employment (SE) services, you may also be eligible for Long Term Follow Along (LTFA) services.
You can always come back and apply to DVRS again if your job situation changes.