[This post was written by my husband who is guest writing for me today. I asked him to write this post since he is the one who took S to his initial DBVI Vocational Rehab appointment.]
S was classified as visually impaired earlier this year. At the time, we weren’t sure of the value in this “label”. How would this “label” benefit him and his transition to college and adulthood?
With this classification, S is now eligible for services and support through the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI). A couple of weeks ago, I went with S to his initial meeting with DBVI Vocational Rehab. It was a very good meeting, and I came to appreciate the quality of service DBVI Voc Rehab provides.
Prior to the meeting, S was very apprehensive and anxious. He didn’t understand the need to meet with MORE support people. He already had counselors with the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and Disability Support Services at the college. What would DBVI be able to add and why would DBVI need all this additional paperwork? It seemed to him to be too much stuff.
Here is what S and I found valuable from our session with DBVI Voc Rehab:
- Assistive Technology: S really liked the digital magnification tools (hand held, desktop and application-based)
- Vocational Planning: They were laser focused on the ultimate objective, career employment.
- Education and Training: With a clear vocational goal, Voc Rehab will help identify the education/training steps needed to achieve that goal; to include continuous monitoring of progress.
- DBVI in a supporting role: S has the final say on his vocational goal and the steps needed to achieve his goal. This one was very important to S. He likes control.
- Advice on SSI: Based on DBVI’s strong recommendation, we started the application process for SSI. This is designed to provide some support funding for S as he attends college since he won’t be able to work and go to school at the same time.
We have much more to do with DBVI Voc Rehab but this positive first meeting with them alleviated much of the anxiety S was feeling about their role in his journey.
With my husband running S around to appointments creating more free time for me, you can find me on the couch with chocolate. You can find my husband at sixbottlestoparis.