Discovering Opportunities for Vocational Rehabilitation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies provide valuable services to people with disabilities who want to work. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for VR customers and the state VR agencies that serve them, including interruptions in service delivery, health concerns about the risk of exposure, and difficult labor market conditions. In addition, large state budget deficits caused by the pandemic will likely affect funding for some state VR agencies. In response to these challenges, state VR agencies are finding innovative ways to meet the needs of their customers, maintain relationships with local service providers, create safe work environments for staff, and continue to pursue their mission.
On December 8, 2020, Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy held a roundtable discussion about how state VR agencies are meeting the challenges presented by the pandemic so they can help people with disabilities pursue employment.
- Shannon Austin, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Kathy Hayfield, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
- Dacia Johnson, Oregon State Commission for the Blind
- David Mann, Mathematica
- Purvi Sevak, Mathematica
- Paul Shattuck, Mathematica
- Steve Wooderson, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation