Vocational Rehabilitation - Publications

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Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) has media resources that are designed to raise awareness  and the services available through VR. These resources are useful for schools, employers, doctors, partner organizations, etc. who are looking for additional disability-related information.

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Print Publications

We have information on our services though our brochures. If you need these in an alternate format or in another language contact us at 1-800-755-2745 or email us at dhsvr@nd.gov.

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Services for Individuals

Client Intake Folder


It Really Works Brochure

We are the North Dakota Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and we are the leaders in disability-related solutions. VR assists eligible individuals with disabilities in improving their employment opportunities.

Our counselors work with you to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment that is based on your interests, needs, abilities, and capabilities. You make informed choices based on the goals of your plan.

Quality Workers and Quality Work drive North Dakota s economic engine. At VR, we want to provide the right mix of services that will make you an active participant in our states growing economy.

When it comes to employment, it should always be about your ABILITIES. Your success is our ultimate GOAL!

You benefit from services offered in six broad groups.
1. Evaluation - medical, psychological, educational, vocational
2. Vocational Guidance and Counseling -interest testing, evaluations of strengths and the effects of your disability on your work, planning and implementing corrective strategies, and helping you to adjust to and live with a disability
3. Training - on-the-job, job coaching, job mentoring, academic
4. Employment - develop resume writing skills, develop interview strategies, job referral, placement, follow-up
5. Accommodations - adaptive aids, assistive technology, accessibility and work site evaluations, and ADA issues
6. Restorations - medical, psychological treatment, orthotic and prosthetic devices, and other types of accommodations

VR can help you find out what your interests and abilities are so you can determine a career path.

We can help you figure out what barriers to employment you may have and how to change or minimize these barriers.

Plus, VR can help you determine what services you need for employment.

VR is here for you if:
•    You have a disability that is making it hard for you to get or continue work.
•    You want to work to the best of your ability.
•    You are ready to make some good choices to get your life moving in the right direction.

VR is not the place you are looking for if:
•    You do not have a disability.
•    You do not want to work.
•    You want VR to help you get disability benefits.
•    You just need some emergency help.
•    You came here to get other services such as food stamps.
•    You are being forced to be here and do not want to be here.
•    You are NOT ready to seek services that lead to employment.

For more information contact your regional VR office or call us toll free at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY).

Download It Really Works Brochure
Download Spanish It Really Works Brochure

Services for Businesses

North Dakota Customized/Supported Employment Tax Credit Program

What is it?

The North Dakota Customized/Supported Employment Tax Credit is equal to 25% of up to $6,000 of wages paid annually for each qualifying employee hired. For example, if two qualifying employees are hired, each of which is paid $5,000 for the tax year, the employer is allow a credit of $2,500 ($5,000 x 25% x 2). The credit is allowed in each tax year in which the qualifying employee is employed.

How to apply?

If the employer is interested in the tax credit, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) staff will complete the necessary application. 

If VR determines that the individual(s) identified in the application meet the targeted group criteria (has a developmental disability or a severe mental illness), a letter certifying that the individual is a qualifying employee will be sent to the employer. To claim the tax credit, the employer must include a copy of the certification letter with the employer's North Dakota income tax return for each tax year in which the credit is claimed.

Questions?

For questions on the certification process, contact Vocational Rehabilitation at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY).

For questions about the income tax credit, contact the Office of the State Tax Commissioner at 1-877-328-7088 or email taxinfo@nd.gov.

Download the North Dakota Customized/Supported Employment Tax Credit Program Brochure


5 Common Employment Misperceptions Brochure

Misperception 1

Persons with disabilities are unable to meet performance standards.
The reality is that studies show employees with disabilities rate average or better than average in job performance compared to employees without disabilities.

Misperception 2

Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities.
The reality is that studies show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.


Misperception 3

Reasonable accommodations made for employees with disabilities are often expensive and cost prohibitive.
The reality is the average cost of a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability is below $500.


Misperception 4

Workers Compensation rates increase when hiring employees with disabilities.
The reality is that Workers Compensation rates are based solely on the relative hazards of the operation and the organization’s accident experience, not on whether workers have disabilities.

Misperception 5

It is more difficult to terminate an employee with a disability.
The reality is that labor laws governing the firing of employees are no different for those with disabilities than those without. The basic truth is that, if an employee is not performing their job up to the requirements as stated in the job description, they can be terminated.

As in all cases, specific documentation needs to be kept to support the job termination.

For more information contact your regional VR office or call us toll free at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY).

Download the 5 Common Employment Misperceptions Brochure


Disability Etiquette Brochure

Disability Etiquette: How to Engage with People with Disabilities
General Interaction Tip

  1.   When speaking, speak directly to the person, not just the people accompanying them.
  2.   Be patient, people with disabilities might require more time to process and express themselves. Listen to them.
  3.   Never pretend to understand what a person is saying. Ask the person to repeat or rephrase.
  4.   Do not make assumptions about a person’s disability or limitations. Ask questions if you are unsure.
  5.   If you think someone may need assistance, offer to assist but wait for them to respond and respect their decision.

Blind or Low Vision

  • Greetings - When meeting the person, identify yourself and others who may be present. 
  • Departing - Don’t leave without excusing yourself first.
  • Guiding - When asked to guide someone, never push or pull them. Offer your arm or elbow and walk slightly ahead of them while pointing out locations of doorways, curbs or stairs. Describe basic layout and be specific.
  • Guide Dogs - Don’t pet or distract them while they are working.

Deaf and/or Hearing Loss

  • Get the person’s attention before speaking. Maintain eye contact.
  • Reduce noise if possible. 
  • Speak louder if necessary.
  • Face the person when talking and don’t cover your mouth.
  • Speak at a reasonable speed.
  • Keep communication simple. It may help to simplify your sentences.
  • A sign language interpreter may be needed.
  • If they have an interpreter, talk to the person, not the interpreter.

Difficulty with Speech

  • Pay attention, be patient and wait for the person to finish what they are saying. Do not finish for the person.
  • It is ok to ask people to repeat if you do not understand. Tell them what you did understand.
  • Be patient and allow a person who uses assistive technology time to communicate.
  • Interacting with a Wheelchair User
  • Personal space Don’t push, lean on, or hold onto a wheelchair unless you ask. Give them room when you are communicating with them.
  • Eye-to-eye contact Try to put yourself at eye level when you interact.
  • Don’t assume they need assistance, ask them first.
  • Be aware of the distance to accessible restrooms, elevators, curb cuts, and other obstacles such as stairs and hills.

Cognitive Impairments

  • Keep communication simple. 
  • Speak in concrete terms and short sentences.
  • Complete 1-step instructions and focus on one topic at a time.
  • Allow the person time to respond, ask questions to clarify.
  • Focus on the person and pay attention to body language.

Using Respectful Language

Do say: people with disabilities
Don’t say: the handicapped or disabled
 
Do say: a wheelchair user
Don’t say: wheelchair-bound
 
Do say: congenital disability
Don’t say: birth defect
 
Do say: He/she has Down Syndrome
Don’t say: He/she is a Down’s kid
 
Do say: He/she has an intellectual or developmental disability
Don’t say: mentally retarded, a retard, slow or special
 
Do say: people who have mental illness, person with a mental or emotional disability
Don’t say: the mentally ill, crazy, psycho, mental case
 
Do say: people who are blind or low vision
Don’t say: the blind or blind as a bat
 
Do say: person who is hard of hearing, Deaf, a person who is deaf
Don’t say: hearing-impaired, deaf-mute, deaf and dumb

Don’t refer to a person’s disability unless it is relevant….Remember, people are people first, disability second!

For more information contact your regional VR office or call us toll free at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY).

Download the Disability Etiquette Brochure


On-the-Job Training Brochure

What is On-the-Job Training?

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a structured learning experience designed to reimburse employers for the cost of training Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) clients to develop the skills required for the position. Each OJT agreement can be individualized to fit a variety of your business needs. This hands-on method of teaching is expected to decrease as the training progresses and the employee develops the required skill set. The expected outcome of an OJT is permanent employment with valuable experience.

It’s Easy to Expand your Workforce with a VR OJT!

  1. Hire a VR client who is qualified for the job.
  2. Complete the OJT agreement.
  3. Place the new employee on your payroll and process their employment as you would with any new employee.
  4. VR will pay the employer a training fee that equals the individual’s hourly wage.

Benefits

  • A more diversified workforce.
  • The opportunity to expand or upgrade your workforce.
  • Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain.
  • Training promotes job satisfaction. A recent survey indicates that 40 percent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year.
  • Minimal paperwork.

For more information contact your regional VR office or call us toll free at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY).

Download On-the-Job Training Brochure


Recruitment, Retention, Results Brochure

Recruiting the right employee and retaining existing well-trained and productive workers has never been more important to North Dakota business owners and employers than in today’s economy.

To reach the business and organizational success you desire, you need to:

  1. Tap into highly reliable and qualified job applicants who can put their diverse abilities to work for you.
  2. Build strategies to help ensure that you maintain that critical edge and competitive advantage by holding onto your existing workforce.

What you need is results! We are North Dakota Vocational Rehabilitation. We serve businesses and individuals.

Professional Consultation Services

  • Assist business owners and employers in developing short and long-term strategies regarding their varying disability-related issues.
  • Assist individuals who have permanent injuries, illness or impairments, to maximize their employment opportunities by helping them to develop the skills that today’s businesses are seeking in the workforce of the future.

Featured Services and Benefits

Recruitment

  • Pre-screened and qualified applicants
  • Employee matches based on your needs
  • Soft-skill development
  • Customized employee training strategies
  • Reliable technical assistance and referrals
  • Quality assurance through follow-up

Retention

  • Maintenance of current workforce and productivity levels
  • Assistance in building assistive technology strategies and referrals
  • Professional worksite assessments and options
  • Customized continuing education and training strategies
  • Job restructuring recommendations and assistance
  • Reliable technical assistance and referrals
  • Quality assistance through follow-up

Financial Incentives

  • Access to On-the-Job training funds Work Opportunity Tax Credits
  • Partnerships with Internships and Apprenticeship programs
  • Application of Disables Access Tax Credit and Barrier Removal Tax Deductions

Accessibility

  • Development of strategies for disability-related solutions
  • Beneficial reasonable accommodation outcomes
  • Greater access through ADA site assessments and recommendations
  • Positive impact on the bottom line through greater market share
  • Development of strategies for positive disability-related solutions

Education

  • Enhanced ADA knowledge of roles and responsibilities
  • Greater understanding of workforce diversity
  • Access to professional knowledge and expertise
  • Enhanced team building and customer service
  • Increased staff morale

Our services build bridges between employers, employees, and the marketplace.

Whether large or small, VR services will prove beneficial to your business or organization. If we don’t have the answers, we will find them!

Through a network of Workforce Development partners, we can assess resources and make appropriate referrals that will have a positive impact on your bottom-line.

Recruitment, Retention, Resources, Referrals
The bottom-line is results!

Maintain a critical edge and gain a competitive advantage through recruiting and retention strategies that produce results.

For more information contact your regional VR office or call us toll free at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY).

Download Recruitment, Retention, Results Brochure


Vocational Rehabilitation Enhances North Dakota's Workforce

Working with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a win-win for employers. Employing people with disabilities opens an untapped labor poor for growing community businesses.

WE CAN HELP WITH HOW THIS HELPS YOU WIN-WIN
Recruitment Sources Decreases the time to find applicants. We help match the right applicant to meet your needs.
Rapid Retention Keeps employees that have a disability on-the-job, decreasing turn over. Our team work quickly to help prevent the loss of work.
Internships or Job Shadows Connects potential employees and employers to build the next generation of employees. We can help grow your workforce saving your time and resources.
On-the-Job Training Trains qualifying VR clients to meet businesses' needs. We coordinate and pay for training of new employees.
Ergonomic Training Reduces the risk of workplace injuries and sick days. Our training can help employees be more productive and improve their well-being.
Job Site Recommendations and Assistive Technology Reduces access barriers for employees and customers. We can make your workplace more accessible and find technology to increase independence.
Hiring Incentive/Tax Credits Save money by using state and federal tax credits. Our team can help find qualifying tax credits and help with the process.

If you are ready to grow your workforce, contact us at (888) 755-2745, 711 (TTY) or dhsvr@nd.gov.

Benefits of Working with Vocational Rehabilitation

VR assists individuals with disabilities find a rewarding job. VR helps people prepare for, find or keep a job, and live a more independent life. Below are some of the successes from Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2022 (Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022).

  • ND VR ranked number 1 in the nation in employing individuals with disabilities - 58%. (U.S. average is 40%) (Source: https://disabilitycompendium.org - See 2023 Compendium PDF tab, page 40)
  • In FFY 2022, 562 individuals gained employment.
    • 93% of the individuals gained employment.
    • For FFY 2023, we are on pace to assist 700 people find job opportunities.
  • For every dollar spent by VR, clients earn $10.43.
  • For every dollar spent by VR, the clients pay back $2.09 in taxes.
  • We worked with 3,817 individuals to gain skills that will help with employment.
  • Our staff worked with 71 high schools to assist 2,133 students explore jobs, training, and/or career options after high school.
  • Assisted 588 individuals with vision impairments to remain independent in their homes.

For more information visit our website at hhs.nd.gov/vr.

Download the Vocational Rehabilitation Enhances North Dakota's Workforce Brochure

Services for Students

Make the Transition Brochure

What is Transition Planning?


Transition is the term for the “bridge” between school and adult life for students. Transition planning is the process of preparing for life after high school. Vocational Rehabilitation can help you make informed choices during your transition and assist you with future career plans.

Individuals who are typically referred for VR services include those who have a diagnosis of a learning, behavioral, physical, intellectual, or developmental disability.

To be eligible for VR services you must:
1.    Have a documented disability
2.    Require services that lead to employment
3.    Want to work

If you are eligible, VR will help you determine an appropriate employment goal. You and your counselor will work together to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), which identifies what you need to achieve your goal. VR may be able to help you transition from high school to work or from high school to college in preparation for work by providing:

  • Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling & Guidance – evaluations of strengths and how your disability may affect your ability to work, a comprehensive assessment of your rehabilitation needs, planning and implementing strategies to overcome barriers, and helping you adjust to and live with a disability.
  • Employment – identification of an employment goal that is consistent with your strengths, resources, abilities, capabilities, priorities, concerns, interests, and informed choice.
  • Accommodations – if needed, adaptive aids, assistive technology, accessibility, and work site evaluations to assist you in achieving your employment goal.
  • Training – tailored to meet your individual rehabilitation needs and attain your employment goal. This may include on-the-job training, internships, job mentoring, job coaching and/or academic training. This may also include assisting you to advocate for the services you will need to succeed in college. VR may also assist you with school costs if there is a financial need.
  • Job Placement – develop resume writing skills and interview strategies, job referral, placement, and follow-up services.

Helpful Resources

  • Launch my Life North Dakota - Your journey as you transition from high school to the world of work has begun. You will be making decisions about your education, what kind of a job you will look for, and how to get involved in your community. Launch my Life ND can help you do just that. Whether you have a disability or not, Launch my Life ND gives you the knowledge, tools, resources, and connections to help you achieve your goals. It is located at www.launchmylifend.com/
  • Financial Aid for College - FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and you complete it after your parents do their taxes. Take advantage of scholarship opportunities by completing the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible. The FAFSA must be completed by April 15. It is located at https://fafsa.ed.gov/.

For more information contact your regional VR office or call us toll free at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY).

Download Make the Transition Brochure

Unified State Plan

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Unified State Plan (Effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2024)

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Public Service Announcements

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Television Public Service Announcements
  • "Who I Am"  - When we look at someone, do we see all of who they are? Meet nine people whose disabilities are only one part of who they are.
  • "Working Works" - Lets people earn a living and contribute their skills and experience for those with a disability. For some, it may also be about pursuing a passion.
  • "I Can" - At work, it's what people CAN do that matters. Discover what seven people with disabilities can do at work when when given the opportunity.
  • "Because" - Like all young people, youth with disabilities should grow up expecting to work and succeed. Learn how family members, educators and others critically influence the career aspirations of youth with disabilities.
  • "Time to Be Bold" - Educates, engages and empowers people who are 55+ who low vision to maintain or regain their independence by utilizing the free or low-cost services provided by the Older Individuals who are Blind program.
Radio Public Awareness Spots

Radio interview with Prairie Public Radio on February 15, 2021 with Damian Schlinger, the State Director of Vocational Rehabilitation, and counselor Megan Stone.

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Contact Us

1000 E. Divide Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: (701) 328-8950
Toll Free: (800) 755-2745
711 (TTY)
Fax: (701) 328-1884
Email: dhsvr@nd.gov