Maine Vocational Rehabilitation — The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, also known as “VR,” is a Department of Labor program that helps people who have disabilities to get and keep a job. VR helps people who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. In general, people are eligible for services if they have a significant impairment that impedes their ability to work, and if they require vocational rehabilitation services to attain or maintain employment.
Reasons to Consider Vocational Rehabilitation Services
You have likely worked your entire adult life earning money for yourself or your family. It’s a good feeling to earn a living. It’s both satisfying and gratifying.
However, everything you earn is not all “take home”money. Your taxes pay for government programs, one of which is Vocational Rehabilitation (also known as VR). VR is part of the Department of Labor. You should not feel embarrassed or guilty about receiving services from VR. You have already paid for this benefit in advance. The state of Maine receives millions of dollars each year from the US federal government to help Maine people get a job or get back to work.
If you work in farming, fishing or in the woods, you likely love your job. You chose this line of work because it is satisfying and interesting. You are good at it. The problem with these lines of work is that you can easily get injured. An injury, an unexpected medical or chronic illness could limit or end your work life. In addition, because these lines of work are physical, your body wears out.
VR can help you prolong your work life through the assistance they provide. The skills, knowledge, and equipment (known as assistive technology) made available through VR is designed to help you in your current work. In addition, what you gain could apply to other lines of future work.
Applying for assistance from VR is not difficult, however, the application process takes time. For more information about VR contact the office located in your area. https://www.maine.gov/rehab/offices.shtml.
If you qualify for VR services, a counselor will be assigned to you. They will communicate with you. Together, a plan will be developed to assist you.
If you are involved in agriculture and interested in VR services, please contact Misty Gaynor, Liaison from the Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation to Maine AgrAbility at 207.753.9062.The NEW VR Consumer Handbook gives wonderful detail about the program and the services VR offers. https://www.maine.gov/rehab/docs/2020/dvr/ConsumerGuide.docx
Maine Small Business Development Centers provide comprehensive business management assistance, training, resource and information services to Maine’s micro, small, and technology-based business communities. The focus of the Maine SBDC is to assist in the creation and maintenance of viable micro, small and technology-based businesses and the jobs these businesses provide.
AccessMaine is a website developed to assist Mainers with disabilities, their families, and providers. There is also lots of information here that is useful to employers, educators, researchers, and the general public.
Agricultural Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which a trained, impartial mediator helps two or more parties resolve their differences and negotiate a fair agreement. Special services for the agricultural community: Trained mediators can facilitate disputes involving adverse USDA decisions, farm loans, environmental or forestry issues, insurance or disaster relief, contracts with food processors, neighbors, labor issues, wetland determinations, and more.
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