SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 12, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A waiting list has been opened that will provide services to 2,353 Utahns with disabilities in addition to those already served, with the goal of achieving successful employment for each client.
This goal will be achieved over the course of the next five months, according to a prepared statement Friday from the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation’s (USOR) Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
“This is a remarkable day in the history of USOR and for the more than 2,300 clients we are now able to serve,” said Darin Brush, USOR executive director.
“Originally, we thought it may take years before we could again help this many people. But through the hard work of agency reform the past two years, and with the commitment of a dedicated staff of vocational rehabilitation professionals, we are well ahead of schedule.”
Waiting lists are created when a state’s vocational rehabilitation agency enters into an Order of Selection, a system for prioritizing the clients the agency intends to serve, the news release explained.
The federal government allows vocational rehabilitation agencies to use an order of selection when an agency does not have enough money or capacity to serve everyone who is eligible.
Utah entered into an order of selection in February 2015 after demand for vocational rehabilitation services peaked. USOR established three categories in order to prioritize who receives vocational rehabilitation services first when funding and capacity allow:
- Individuals with most significant disabilities
- Individuals with significant disabilities
- Individuals with disabilities
By applying its new Client Service Expenditure Rate Modeling System, USOR determined last year that it was able to open, and hold open, the first priority category, individuals with the most significant disabilities.
Shortly after, USOR also moved some eligible clients in the individuals with significant disabilities category off of the waiting list; the same category from which the 2,353 clients are now being released.
Vocational Rehabilitation is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job and succeed in meaningful careers.
USOR is Utah’s oldest public social services agency, originally founded in 1919 to assist wounded World War I veterans. USOR serves more than 50,000 Utahns each year.
Additional information is available through the recently updated website, usor.utah.gov.