Soliday a success story for Ready to Work program

With a strong support system, a lot of hard work, and a positive attitude, Shonna Soliday has paved the way for others to find success through the Ready To Work (RTW) program. Soliday, with assistance from Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Dena Dodd and E.H. Gentry, recently became the first student to complete the program and securedContinue reading “Soliday a success story for Ready to Work program”

VR consumer gains work experience with man who saved his life

Two-and-a-half years after a surviving a horrific car crash, a Bibb County man is building work experience by volunteering at the fire department his family credits with saving his life. Dustin Rowe was ejected from the sunroof of his vehicle and thrown into a ravine when his car was side-swiped along a particularly bad portionContinue reading “VR consumer gains work experience with man who saved his life”

2017 YLF delegates target leadership, success (photo gallery + video)

  The 31 graduates of the 19th annual Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) left Troy University better equipped to take charge of their own lives following the five-day event that focused on self-esteem, self-advocacy, career exploration, independent living, and assistive technology. “YLF provides an opportunity to empower young people with disabilities to fully realize their potentialContinue reading “2017 YLF delegates target leadership, success (photo gallery + video)”

BRC teams with library to find gold at end of ‘Beautiful Rainbow’

When the Beautiful Rainbow Catering Company and Garden officially opened its doors inside the Gadsden Public Library on Valentine’s Day, it was a cause of celebration for everyone involved. The library café is the latest component of a larger garden-to-table education curriculum for adolescents and young adults with significant cognitive disabilities in the Gadsden City Schools. In addition to operating the area’sContinue reading “BRC teams with library to find gold at end of ‘Beautiful Rainbow’”

‘Transition Unlimited’ unifies transition efforts statewide

A collaboration between ADRS and Auburn University to improve transition services to students is currently being implemented in every high school in the state. The Alabama pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) initiative – dubbed “Transition Unlimited” – is designed to build capacity and connect services to appropriately implement transition services throughout the state. Its goal is to provideContinue reading “‘Transition Unlimited’ unifies transition efforts statewide”

Ceremony awards businesses, exceptional people with disabilities (video, photo gallery)

The Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities – a program of ADRS – held a ceremony and reception Dec. 6 honoring the success and contributions of individuals with disabilities in the workforce and recognized businesses that provide opportunities for successful employment for people with disabilities. The event was in the Old ArchivesContinue reading “Ceremony awards businesses, exceptional people with disabilities (video, photo gallery)”

PETS training updates transition counselors

With final regulations for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) released, transition counselors recnetly received the latest information on Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) through a series of trainings offered at five different locations throughout the state, said Rehabilitation Specialist III Karen Jenkins. “We visited our offices and informed staff about the the five requiredContinue reading “PETS training updates transition counselors”

Department’s AT program nationally recognized

STAR – Alabama’s assistive technology resource – has quietly grown its device reutilization program to be ranked second in the nation by the Center for Assistive Technology Act Data Assistance (CATADA) for four straight years, said Helen Baker, STAR director. “It’s a great bragging point for us, but really all of the kudos should go out toContinue reading “Department’s AT program nationally recognized”

Dekalb County man cultivates need for adaptive tractor

Bryan Thomas of Fyffe will soon be able to independently tend to cattle on his ranch after necessary adaptations are made to his four-wheel drive tractor. “In all my years with Rehab,” said Kenny Maness, Thomas’s rehabilitation counselor, “I thought I had just about seen it all. That is, until I had a request from Bryan to add adaptive driving equipmentContinue reading “Dekalb County man cultivates need for adaptive tractor”

Selma VRS, CRS office moves to new space

Selma’s ADRS office now has a new address. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Children’s Rehabilitation offices in Selma moved Dec. 7 to a newly renovated existing location at 720 Alabama Ave. – in downtown and just across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The facility triples the space of the office’s former location on Citizen’s Parkway, which was shared with Easter SealsContinue reading “Selma VRS, CRS office moves to new space”

ADRS partners with Mental Health to start IPS Supported Employment

VRS and the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) are partnering to enhance employment services for people with serious mental illnesses. ADMH was recently awarded a five-year grant through the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop and implement the first individual and placement support (IPS) supported employment model for the state. IPS takes anContinue reading “ADRS partners with Mental Health to start IPS Supported Employment”

New Selma office set for October opening

A major renovation currently in the works at 720 Alabama Ave. in Selma is good news for ADRS consumers in west Alabama. That is the address for the new Vocational Rehabilitation and Children’s Rehabilitation offices that will be serving children and adults with disabilities in Dallas and the surrounding counties. Though the construction project kickedContinue reading “New Selma office set for October opening”

Employment training conference encourages teens to outwit, outwork, outlast

The Covington County Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities (CCCEPD) sponsored a one-day employment training conference for area youth, held April 8 in Andalusia. The theme of the 9th annual conference was Survivor: The Employment Edition. The event connected more than 150 high school students with disabilities from 10 area schools to several differentContinue reading “Employment training conference encourages teens to outwit, outwork, outlast”

VR supervisors retreat to Columbiana for training

VR supervisors recently participated in a late winter retreat/training session at Alabama’s 4-H Center in Columbiana. The annual supervisor’s retreat allows VR supervisors to unplug from the day-to-day management of their offices around the state and plug into team-building strategies and reinvigorate their leadership skills. In addition to team building, the three-day training session also focused onContinue reading “VR supervisors retreat to Columbiana for training”

Talladega VR ribbon-cutting (photo gallery + video)

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services formally opened its newest office Friday, Feb. 6, to better serve adults with disabilities in Talladega and 10 other surrounding counties. ADRS Commissioner Cary Boswell, along with state and local dignitaries, was on-hand at 10 a.m. to cut the ceremonial ribbon on the 11,790 square-foot facility. The new home for VocationalContinue reading “Talladega VR ribbon-cutting (photo gallery + video)”

A Q&A with Jim Harris III and James Myrick

    Rehab news spoke with outgoing VRS Assistant Commissioner Jim Harris III and incoming VRS Assistant Commissioner James Myrick a week before Harris’s retirement. A transcript of that conversation follows:   RN: Jim, you’ve been with our department for 39 years. What does “rehabilitation” mean to you?   Harris: Rehabilitation is changing people’s livesContinue reading “A Q&A with Jim Harris III and James Myrick”