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By   /   September 27, 2013  /   Comments

Special to the Journal

Service to begin Oct. 1 for the more than 3,000 Vocational
Rehabilitation clients previously on the waitlist

ATLANTA – GVRA Executive Director Greg Schmieg announced today that the waitlist for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) clients whose disabilities fall under Category A, or those with the most significant disabilities, will open Oct. 1.

In the time since Category A was initially closed to new clients in October of 2012, more than 3,000 individuals have been added to a waitlist for services. These Category A clients have been deemed to have the most significant disabilities which limit both their functional capacities and thusly their employment possibilities. Now, their wait is over. Beginning Oct. 1, VR counselors will begin working their way through the waiting list.

“This is a big GVRA and the agency’s clients,” Schmieg said. “This will reduce our waiting list for people with disabilities and help empower them to contribute to the greater Georgia economy.”

The agency was still in its infant stages when the initial decision to close Category A was made. Three months after the formation of the GVRA on July 1, 2012, the fiscal realities at the time came to light, necessitating the temporary category closure. The move to open Category A to those on the waitlist speaks both to the renewed financial stability of the program as well as to its unceasing desire to help clients with disabilities find and maintain work, VR Director Twyla Crump said.

“We are excited about opening up Category A so we can get our clients to work,” Crump said. “Individuals with disabilities are a significant part of potential employees across the state, and they are a valuable resource in meeting the workforce needs in Georgia.”

About the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program
VR provides services to help eligible persons with disabilities prepare for, start, and maintain competitive employment, thus becoming productive and independent citizens in their communities. VR has 15 regional offices statewide, as well as more than 50 local offices with expert teams who work in the community and have in-depth knowledge of both the marketplace and the support services available. Customers are therefore able to benefit from opportunities tailored to their specific needs.

About the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA)
GVRA operates five integrated and interdependent statutory programs that share a primary goal – to help people with disabilities to become fully productive members of society by achieving independence and meaningful employment. The largest of the programs are Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program, Disability Adjudication Services, and the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. Two other unique programs serve consumers with visual impairments: the Business Enterprise Program and Georgia Industries for the Blind. To learn more about GVRA and its efforts to maximize employment opportunities and independence for Georgians with disabilities, visit www.gvra.georgia.gov.

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