Vocational Rehab Available to Help Farmers with Disabilities

Vocational Rehabilitation can offer services to farmers and ranchers with disabilities that assist them in finding ways to regain or maintain their employment in agriculture. The first step an individual must take is applying for services. A vocational rehabilitation counselor can then determine whether an individual is eligible for services. Once eligibility has been determined the counselor and client can work together to determine the types of services that are most suitable for the client. This process usually results in a written rehabilitation plan that identifies the client's vocational goal, VR services, and funding needed to attain the goal.
Although VR staff services are free, individuals are encouraged to participate and contribute to their rehabilitation plan if they can afford to. Particularly in agricultural occupations, assistive technology needs can often be quite expensive. Availability of funds from VR varies. AgrAbility staff recommends generating as many potential funding solutions as possible to acquire the needed assistive technology resources.
VR services include: Assessment, Vocational testing, Vocational guidance and counseling, Funding Training or education, and more.
Contact information for the nearest Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation office can be located in the state government pages of the phone book or on the web at www.dvrcolorado.com
Services provided by the Colorado AgrAbility Project are at no cost to the farmer/rancher and are funded by a grant forming a partnership between Colorado State University Extension and Goodwill Industries Denver. These services include Information, On-site visit, Farm/ranch Situational Assessment, Advocacy and assistance with locating resources and funding for assistive technology needs.
Colorado AgrAbility can be reached by contacting Candiss Leathers, M.A. CVRT, at 720-539-4435, cleathers@goodwilldenver.org, or James Craig, M.A., J.D, Ed.S., at 720-737-3686, jcraig@goodwilldenver.org.