Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation: Where Ability Means Employability!

At the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS), our goal is to ensure Tennesseans of all abilities have the opportunity to reach their full potential as members of our state’s community, workforce and economy. Our Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program, focuses on connecting Tennesseans with disabilities, their advocates and potential employers with resources that pave pathways to employment and elevated levels of independence.

Who Does Vocational Rehabilitation Serve?

Vocational Rehabilitation serves two groups: 1) Tennesseans with disabilities, including middle and high school age students,  who are ready to prepare for independence through employment and 2) Tennessee business owners, leaders and operators who are ready to elevate their business(es) into workspaces that welcome customers and workers with disabilities.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Tennesseans with Disabilities

Vocational Rehabilitation services are open to Tennesseans with disabilities and the program recognizes each customer as unique. The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programing advocates for employment outcomes that are consistent with each individual’s strengths, resources, abilities, capabilities and informed choice.

Program participants are assigned a team of VR professionals who collaborate with each customer to form an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) according to the customer's career goals. Services are tailored to help each individual enter and succeed in the competitive labor market and may include instruction through the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center-Smyrna, Community Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, community partners or work-based learning with a local business partner.

Disability Employment Services for Tennessee Businesses

Through the Business Services Unit, Vocational Rehabilitation supports businesses with a wide array of products, services, resources, and solutions related to disability employment. Business owners can find no-cost assistance locating skilled candidates, retaining workers, increasing accessibility and other resources that save time and money. Visit our Business Services page to learn more.

How to Get Started with Vocational Rehabilitation

Learn More

Use the menu to find information on applying for services, eligibility and services. Information for middle and high school students with disabilities is available on the Transition Services page. Businesses can find additional details on disability employment services on the Business Services page.

If you would like to submit a referral for VR services (which help individuals with disabilities get, keep, or advance in a job) for either yourself or someone else, please click the link below.

Notice of Rulemaking Hearing

The Department recently filed Notices of Rulemaking Hearings for amendments to the Division of Rehabilitation Services rules. These rule hearings will take place statewide and virtually on March 5th, 2024 at 9 AM and 5 PM. If you would like to attend, please note the locations and times for the hearings and plan to attend accordingly. The text of the rules can be found here: https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/rules_filings/01-08-24.pdf

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