How to Find and Work With a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Vocational rehabilitation counselors may work for public (state) or private agencies.
Each state has a vocational rehabilitation agency at its Department of Social and Health Services office, Work Source Agency, or Division/Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).
DVR can provide counseling and guidance, vocational evaluation, assistance with finding a job, assistive technologies, assistance with keeping a job, and other services.
To be eligible for DVR services, you need to have a disability that interferes with your ability to work and you need to want a job.
In some states from time to time there are more people requesting DVR services than the budget can accommodate. Under these circumstances, DVR may go into an “order of selection,” where people with more severe disabilities are served first and others are placed on a waiting list. If you are on a waiting list, ask the state agency if there are community employment services that you can use while you are waiting.
Your burn center or health provider may be able to help you find a vocational rehabilitation counselor.
If you have a work-related burn injury, ask your workers’ compensation manager for a referral to vocational rehabilitation. See On-the Job Injuries.
In some states there are vocational rehabilitation programs funded to Native American tribes or corporations that may serve tribal members who have survived burns. See www.canar.org to locate tribal vocational rehabilitation programs.