DHS Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month During October

Americans With Disabilities Act National Network

The Department of Human Services, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program, is seeking to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many contributions of Virgin Island employers, community partners and trailblazers who support and honor courageous workers with disabilities. This year marks a major milestone in the nation’s history; it is not only the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month but the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and 100 years since the establishment of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is celebrated across the United States to help eliminate the barriers that limit opportunities for educational and economic advancement for workers challenged by disabilities. Over the past century, with the help of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, persons with disabilities across the United States have found meaningful work opportunities. These opportunities not only positively impact an individual’s income, but serves to boost their confidence and ability to live independent lives.

The V.I. Vocational Rehabilitation Program launched its first online work readiness training program this summer, and services will continue for qualifying students throughout the school year. Additionally, the program is working to reactivate the Randolph Sheppard Program in the USVI.

Virgin Islands Department of Human Services

The Randolph Sheppard Program is a Business Entrepreneurial Program for persons who are legally blind that authorizes the operation of vending and concession facilities on federal property. In conjunction with a private provider, the program also provides job coaching and ongoing support for the significantly disabled. This is just one example of the many initiatives and services available through the VR Program.

The Department of Human Services encourages all to help celebrate the milestones of the National Vocational Rehabilitation Program by reaching out to someone who has a disability and expressing a little extra support and encouragement for their journey.

For those with a disability seeking employment or who may know someone seeking employment, please contact the DHS – Vocational Rehabilitation Program today. It offers employment-related services that include:

  • Transition planning for high school students with disabilities to assist with adequately preparing for post-secondary education and competitive employment
  • Vocational counseling
  • Evaluation and training
  • Job placement
  • Assistance with resume writing and many other services

V.I. Department of Human Services’ Vocational Rehabilitation Program

  • St. Croix: 340-643-8145 or 340-626-6268
  • St. Thomas-St. John 340-774-0930 or 340-244-7861

Also, visit the DHS website at www.dhs.gov.vi for additional resources.

The Department of Human Services exists to provide social services to members in the community with diverse needs. In times of national uncertainty and hardship, it acts as a safety net. It inspires hope and empowers change through nonjudgmental, quality delivery of needed services and resources.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.covid19usvi.com or text COVID19USVI to 888777. To report a suspected COVID-19 case, call 340-712-6299 or 340-776-1519.