NH DOE $500K grant for rehabilitation services will assist students with disabilities

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A student using American Sign Language. Courtesy/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Education on Tuesday announced that its Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation has received a $500,000 reallotment grant from the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration. The funds will be targeted to assist New Hampshire clients with disabilities who are trying to move into the workplace.

“With this additional support from the federal government, New Hampshire will maintain its important infrastructure to ensure that children with disabilities have a pathway to become active members of society with jobs that provide them with self-value and purpose,” said Gov. Chris Sununu.

VR Bureau Director Lisa Hinson-Hatz says that she has two priorities for these one-time federal funds:

  • Expand the programming and services for Student Transition Specialists’ work with local schools. Student Transition Specialists provide five specific Pre-Employment Transition services (Pre-ETS) to students with disabilities around the state: job exploration counseling, work readiness training, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary options, and self-advocacy. They provide workshops on these focus areas in more than 85 high schools to students who need these skills to be successful as they transition from high school to the work world.
  • Develop and institute Pre-Employment Transition Services for individuals who are blind/low vision and deaf-blind. This would include year-round services as well as a summer internship program to include paid employment. The VR Bureau would work with an entity that has the expertise for this small population of customers that are traditionally underserved and not currently served by vendors providing Pre-ETS.

The Rehabilitation Services Administration awarded the reallotment grant to New Hampshire from funds unused by other states. Grants to states that fail to meet their federal match requirements are reallocated to states that have done so.

“The VR Bureau does a tremendous job helping New Hampshire clients with disabilities as they enter the workforce,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “These funds will be targeted to improve how we deliver Pre-Employment Transition Services across New Hampshire.”

For more information on the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, click here.