Resources for Students with Disabilities

The Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) offers entry level job positions to those with disabilities. DORS’ mission is to maximize “opportunities for people in CT with disabilities to live, learn and work independently.” The department consists of four bureaus: rehabilitation services, disability determination, education and services for the blind and organizational support. These four departments provide individuals with a well-rounded commitment of service to better the lives of others.

The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) provides vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with physical or mental disabilities that significantly impact their ability to enter or maintain employment by providing them with all the information and support they need to gain employment. The BRS partners with Connect-Ability to bridge the gap between employers and individuals with disabilities. Once accepted into the program you’ll work one-on-one with a counselor to develop an “employment plan” in hopes of finding employment. If you apply to a position and get accepted your counselor will be there for you 90 days after your start date. If you are satisfied with the job you will be classified as “successfully employed” and your case will be closed; however, should you have any additional needs your case can be reopened and reevaluated. In addition to the above service, BRS also offers an independent living program. The living program promotes empowerment and self-reliance for those with disabilities through its four core centers: peer support, information and referral, individual systems & advocacy and independent living skills training. Have any questions, visit the BRS FAQ page!

The Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) provides resources, life skills training and supplementary programs to increase individual’s quality of life. BESB offers two programs: business enterprise and educational scholarships. The business enterprise program allows qualified adults to become entrepreneurs and in return permits individuals to be more financially independent. The program includes but is not limited to training and business consultation. The Bureau of Organizational Support seems to be a combination of the BESB program and the BRS living program in the sense that it provides financial, technology and general assistance to individuals.

In order to be eligible for the services that DORS offers you have to have a noted disability. If you have not already done so, then the Bureau of Disability Determination Services will be able to help. This department is geared to provide individuals with timely and accurate Social Security Disability determinations that was filed with to the Social Security Administration.

Remember, in order to find employment you first must put in the work and then services will be able to help!

By Tylur Craddock

By Laura Evangelista
Laura Evangelista Assistant Director for Curriculum Design and Pre-Professional Advising Laura Evangelista