NYAPRS Note: ACCES-VR is New York’s agency that works to promote vocational rehabilitation and independent living for people with disabilities (www.acces.nysed.gov/vr). ACCES-VR has formed close partnerships over the past few years with the Office of Mental Health, Department of Labor and NYAPRS to further advance its capacity to help support and place New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities.
The results?: ACCES:VR has consistently placed over 2,000 individuals with behavioral health disabilities in jobs for each of the past 3 years..
ACCES-VR Places 2,000 with Behavioral Health Related Disabilities in Jobs for Last 3 Years
The Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) is part of the New York State Education Department. Over the past several years, ACCES – VR has been working closely with the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the NY Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) to further enhance services and to improve long-term success of people with behavioral health disabilities.
The increased collaboration has resulted in improvements in service delivery and employment outcomes. The agencies also brought together various partner organizations to provide education and resources to the community and to individuals that might want services.
The “Recovery at the Crossroad: The Choices and Changes Ahead” conference held at the Hudson Valley Resort & Conference Center in 2015 serves as one example. Presenters Alesia Simco (ACCES-VR), Liam McNabb (OMH), Veronica Jones (Orange Works/DOL One-Stop Employment & Training Center), and Len Statham (NYAPRS), described their respective agency eligibility requirements, basic procedures, and available services. There were opportunities for participants to dialogue with the agency staffs that were in attendance. In addition, examples were shared on how individuals in recovery could receive services through each of the agencies.
Open discussions and collaborative trainings among ACCES-VR, OMH, DOL, and NYAPRS are increasing, and service options are improving in NYS.
Success rates for consumers have improved as well. For example, for each of the last three years ACCES-VR has consistently placed over 2,000 individuals with behavioral health disabilities in jobs. In 2016 ACCES-VR, OMH, DOL, NYAPRS and other partners will continue to provide education, outreach and evidenced-based, person-centered services to individuals with a behavioral health diagnosis.
Please contact ACCES-VR at 1-800-222-5627, or visit the website at www.acces.nysed.gov/vr to locate an ACCES-VR office near you.