Nebraska VR provides services that benefit individuals as well as our state and communities.
Through strong and meaningful partnerships we create a network of services and supports to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to succeed. We work with partners to achieve our mission to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment while helping businesses recruit, train, and retain employees with disabilities.
To learn more, choose any of the following links:
Acquired Brain Injury | ATP | Certificate Programs | Corrections-Based Programs | Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services | Benefits Services | Mental Health Partnerships | Project SEARCH | Public Schools Partnerships | Workforce Development
Nebraska VR partners with Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska and Career Solutions, Inc. to provide supported employment services to individuals who have experienced an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and require specialized assistance to obtain and maintain competitive employment. Our VR liaison staff in Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, and Omaha work jointly with employment specialists from these programs to assist individuals in overcoming employment barriers resulting from:
For more information about how these partners help our clients achieve employment success, contact Keri Bennett at 308/865-5012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nebraska VR and the Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP) have worked together since 1989 when VR wrote the grant to establish a technology-related assistance project (ATP) in Nebraska.
In 1999, VR and ATP established a partnership along with the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies that recognized they needed assistance in finding appropriate and cost effective technology and modifications.
ATP Technology Specialists conduct on-site assessments for consumers referred by VR. The assessments may be for students preparing to work and consumers who are ready to work or returning to work after an injury or illness.
The Specialists meet with the consumer, VR staff and others (employer, teachers, etc.). ATP identifies where assistive technology and modifications might be beneficial, makes cost efficient recommendations, and identifies alternative funding sources.
The web site www.at4all.com lists demonstration and loan equipment available during the evaluation process. Recycled and donated items are also available for use at home, school, and work.
The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) Partnership serves Omaha and Lincoln inmates within the Community Corrections Centers. Many of these inmates have not been successful in maintaining employment due to drug and/or alcohol dependence, other disability related issues and additional criminogenic factors. Through the Nebraska VR (NVR) component of the Partnership, eligible inmates receive assistance in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining successful employment with additional support, supervision and reinforcement provided by Unit Case Managers within the work detail/work release programs. Efforts are coordinated with the client's team and other providers to avoid duplication of services and to complement material and information already provided to the clients.
The Criminal Justice Center Partnership is a diversion and prison reduction program involving the collaborative efforts of several state and county criminal justice agencies. One of the primary goals of the Partnership is rehabilitation of convicted offenders through highly structured treatment, supervision and monitoring, thereby reducing their rate of incarceration, continued substance use and future recidivism.
Through the Nebraska VR (NVR) component of the Partnership, eligible offenders receive assistance in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining successful employment with additional support, supervision and reinforcement provided by Nebraska State Probation District #4, Douglas County Corrections - Community Corrections Division and Nebraska Department of Correctional Services - Adult Parole. One of the primary features of this program is its dual emphasis on identifying and selecting employers well suited to work with this population while simultaneously assisting the client in developing skills that match the needs of the employer. To ensure a positive outcome for both the employer and client, each match becomes an individualized collaboration based on the particular needs of both parties.
The Douglas County Adult Drug Court's primary purpose is to offer a more effective and less costly alternative to traditional adjudication and sentencing of drug-involved, non-violent felony offenders. This voluntary program allows eligible defendants to earn dismissal of their current charge(s) in exchange for successful graduation from the Drug Court Program. If the offender does not successfully complete the program, he or she is sentenced on the admitting charge(s). One of the many conditions for successful completion of the Drug Court Program is maintaining continued employment for at least 6 months. Clients who do not have a high school diploma must also complete their General Education Development (GED). The Nebraska VR (NVR) component of the program provides both vocational and education-related services and assistance to clients in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining gainful employment.
In October 2017, Vocational Rehabilitation entered into service agreements with these agencies to provide Benefits Services to individuals served by VR who receive Social Security and other benefits. These agencies employ Certified Benefits Planners who have extensive training in how work incentives may be used by SSA beneficiaries to maximize earning potential and minimize negative impact to benefits. The Benefits Services provide individuals with:
Nebraska VR continues its long-standing partnership with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Behavioral Health (NDHHS-DBH) to fund supported employment services for Nebraskans with severe mental illness. VR and NDHHS-DBH partner in funding these supports across the state.
Key elements of the partnership include:
The purpose of Nebraska VR's Partnership with schools is to provide information to educators about Vocational Rehabilitation Programs and help educators and VR staff to better coordinate transition services on the behalf of students with disabilities. This partnership will facilitate a discussion between local educators and VR staff and serve as a catalyst to create a process to effectively help students' transition from school to work.
This planning effort will help:
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 established the One-Stop career center system, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, through which many federally mandated partners including Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) serve their customers and clients.
There are currently three local service delivery areas and 20 One-Stop Career Centers in Nebraska. Local Workforce Investment Boards oversee the Greater Lincoln, Greater Omaha and Greater Nebraska service delivery areas. In addition, there is a Nebraska Workforce Investment Board that is responsible for administering the statewide system.
Collaboration between Nebraska VR and the other mandated partners is intended to provide:
The Pathway to Employment Video Series is designed to de-mystify the many services provided to clients and businesses while highlighting the innovation that is the culture of Nebraska VR. While certainly each story is either one of progress towards an employment goal or a client's employment goal success, they are also stories about the important role played by staff members, businesses, ATP, Easter Seals, Project SEARCH, and others. Go to: vr.nebraska.gov/videos/