Vocational Rehabilitation may mean different things to different people. Officially, it refers to training programs designed to train people for a specific type of work, or a new type of work, due to life changes that make it impossible for them to continue in their old line of work, or make it necessary to change how their current work is done.
Different programs exist for different situations. For example, there is a military program that exists for the purpose of getting those who are leaving the military gainful employment outside of the military, but there are also programs available for people who have become injured and ill, and either need help re-entering their own vocation, or help in preparing for a totally different vocation.
This type of rehabilitation, also known as therapy, is suitable for all adults who wish to enter the workforce – even if it is for the first time, or who wish to re-enter the workforce after an injury or illness. Typically, the service is needed because the injury has made it impossible to do your previous work, or because it has changed the way that you need to do your previous work. It is very important to understand that this same term is used for people who have been displaced for reasons other than medical or physical reasons – and to distinguish between the two when seeking this type of service.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services are available from a wide variety of sources. You may be able to find these services through your current or old employer. You may also check to see if there is a state funded program that can help you, there are commercial organizations that exist for this purpose, and finally, you can actually hire a professional to provide these services to you privately as well. It is always a good idea to look for the low cost or free services that are available first, in most cases.
When you work with this type of professional, your skills will be assessed, as well as your physical abilities. The therapist will then work directly with you, with your current employer, or with future employers to get you settled into a job. The therapist will also locate suitable training opportunities for you, if training is needed, and help you to learn how to do specific jobs, in spite of any ongoing disability you may have from your injuries or illness. Furthermore, the therapist will usually make sure that your physical condition and abilities are considered in the workplace.