Welcome to the Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program
A Special Message from Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation
The TVR program is the result of a federal law, the Rehabilitation Act. This law is founded on the belief that all individuals with disabilities can work. The goal of the program is to assist American Indians in Connecticut and Rhode Island with disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep good jobs. In addition to vocational rehabilitation services, we can include in your rehabilitation plan, traditional Native American services and supports, including, among others:
- Sweat Lodge
- Prayer lodge that purifies the individual through sweat and time with the creator to reflect on issues in your life that may need support or change. We can refer you to tribal spiritual advisors who can guide you through the sweat lodge ceremony and all that it entails.
- Ceremony utilizing any of the four basic medicines, sage, sweet grass, tobacco, cedar, to cleanse a person of negative thoughts/feelings. This can be done at any time during our counseling sessions or with family/friends as requested.
- Talking Circle
- Gathering of other Voc Rehab consumers, family and friends as requested; a talking circle allows each individual to express their thoughts/issues/feelings in as much time as needed. Each person has a chance to speak and reflect on what others have said. It allows for communal support and healing.
- Prayer can be incorporated into your counseling sessions with Voc Rehab staff; also, if you would like a referral to your tribes spiritual leaders to learn more about prayer, we can help you find that information.
- Social events
- Information about powwows, social gatherings, and other cultural events within our Native Community.
- Traditional lifestyle
- Information on cultural history, traditional healing techniques, traditional medicines, nutrition/diet/exercise; and referrals for other historical health related information.
You may be referred to the program by any source in the community or you may contact the program directly yourself. Once you apply you will work primarily with a vocational rehabilitation counselor who will first determine your eligibility. This is generally a brief process but may sometimes require some examinations or tests for which TVR can pay. If you are determined eligible then you have many options to explore and decisions to make. The program requires that an Individual's Plan for Employment (IPE) be developed which identifies your job goal and the services needed to achieve that goal. Your counselor can provide information and assistance in developing the plan. The plan will also spell out your responsibilities and those of TVR. Once a plan is completed and both you and TVR agree with the plan, services can begin. The plan can be changed over time, as long as both you and TVR agree to the changes.
The plan, the services, and the time needed will look different for every eligible individual. For some it may include job training or job coaching. For others it may include special devices such as a hearing aid or modifications to a vehicle. It all depends on the job goal and the special needs of each individual in reaching their goal. TVR may pay for some of the services. They may also ask you to apply for other programs or benefits that can pay for some of the costs of your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). You will be encouraged to contribute to the cost of your plan in some way if you are able to do so. You will also be expected to meet your responsibilities in making the plan successful. The final goal of the TVR program is employment. If your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is successful it will result in your obtaining and keeping a job that you can perform well and that you like. Generally, TVR will work with you until you have been placed or retained on a job and all services have been completed. They will follow you on the job for at least 90 days and if the job is going well, your TVR case will be closed, but your case can be re-opened if you have a problem on the job.