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ACCES-VR

Published
October 19, 2021
Topics
Adult Life, Work

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) provides job search, educational, and independent living services and supports that help people with disabilities achieve and maintain employment:

  • Assistance with college programs, job training programs, and supported employment programs 
  • Funds for accommodations and job related assistive technology based on financial need
  • Pre-employment training, e.g. career exploration or work readiness coaching
  • Supported employment opportunities

Eligibility

In order to receive services, an applicant must work with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) to determine eligibility based on the following criteria: 

  • Have a disability that interferes with an ability to obtain, maintain, or advance in a job
  • Be able to benefit from VR services
  • Require vocational rehabilitation to prepare for and secure employment 
  • Be at least 14 years old to apply 
  • Currently live in New York State and be able to work in the United States 

Presumed Eligibility: If an applicant provides proof that they receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because of their disability, ACCES-VR will assume they are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

Services 

If an applicant meets the eligibility requirements, they will work with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The IPE will outline their work goal, steps involved, and services needed to achieve that goal. Based on financial need, ACCES-VR can pay for certain services. These may include: 

  • A physical and/or psychological examination to determine how the disability affects employment potential
  • Career counseling, guidance, and planning
  • Assistance with the job search process, such as:
    • Application forms
    • Support creating a resume
    • Interview preparation
  • On-the-job training 
  • Services and supports that will help with training or assessment, such as:
    • Specialized transportation
    • Attendants, note-takers, and interpreters
    • Books, tools, and equipment
    • Rehabilitative and assistive technology 
  • Assistance with service costs related to employment, such as:
    • Worksite modification
    • Home, van, or other vehicle modification
  • Support with job placement and retention
  • Need based supplemental support in college, such as book vouchers, assistive technology, and other resources
  • Support with medical care for acute conditions that come about during the program

Note: While many of the services that ACCES-VR offers are free, some are based on a family’s financial need. For more information, contact your borough’s ACCES-VR office.

Application Process

  • Young people should start the application process two years before leaving high school. Every school should have an ACCES-VR liaison. 
  • Persistence and self-advocacy are key. Young people must acknowledge that they have a disability.
  • If applying independently, first complete application for service form, which is available in six languages. ACCESS-VR will only process completed applications. 
    • Be sure to complete sections for name, address, date of birth, gender, disability, and to sign and date the application. If the applicant is under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian will need to sign the application as well.
    • Send completed applications to accesvrapplications@nysed.gov or by mail to the address of applicant’s Local District Office. See below for a list of borough offices.
    • If sending by email: 
      • Scan or take pictures of the ACCES-VR application and supporting documents.
      • In the subject line, write applicant’s full name, followed by “ACCES-VR Application.”
      • Be sure the application has the applicant’s preferred phone number and email address

Documents Needed to Apply

  • State identification (ID)
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP), if available
  • Evaluations (psychological, psycho-social), if relevant
  • Medical documentation
  • Copy of high school diploma/credential, if available 
  • Resume, if available
  • Copy of social security card
  • Proof of address, preferably a bill
  • Proof of income, e.g. pay stub, W2 
  • Information Release Form
  • Authorization/Obtain Release Form
  • Confidential Health Form

New York City Offices

Bronx

Lisa Field, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 

Lisa.Field@nysed.gov

(718) 931-3597

Brooklyn

Genell Kianes, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 

Genell.Kianes@nysed.gov

(718) 722-6789

Manhattan

Kevin McMullen, Senior VR Counselor 

Kevin.McMullen@nysed.gov

(212) 630-2370

Queens

Michele Delany, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 

Michele.Delany@nysed.gov

(347) 510-3112

Harlem Satellite Office (serving 110th Street to 155th Street River to River)

Kevin McMullen, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 

Kevin.McMullen@nysed.gov

(212) 630-2370

Staten Island

Kevin McMullen, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 

Kevin.McMullen@nysed.gov

(212) 630-2370