National Association of the Deaf

Vocational Rehabilitation



Programs and Services

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that authorizes funding for state vocational rehabilitation, independent living, supported employment, and client assistance services.  The Rehabilitation Services Administration administers these programs.  These programs help people with disabilities obtain the training and services they need to find employment.

For more information about programs and services available in your state, contact your State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

The NAD supports efforts to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people obtain the academic and job training they need to pursue a meaningful career through collaboration with related organizations such as the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, Committee on Services for Individuals who are Deaf, Deaf Blind, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened.

“At Risk” Youth and Adults

The NAD has an ongoing interest in deaf or hard of hearing youth and adults who are “at risk” of having unmet needs for access to effective services.  Risk factors can include any one or combination of the following:  the presence of secondary disabilities; being foreign born or having English as a second language; lack of family support; inappropriate diagnosis; substance abuse; discrimination; inappropriate education; and residence in a rural or low income urban setting.  These individuals must receive services that will allow them to be meaningfully employed and to function independently at home and in the community of their choice.

To address this important issue, a strategic workgroup was formed with the NAD as a leading member.  The workgroup put together existing research and data to develop “A Model for a National Collaborative Service Delivery System.

This 2004 Position Paper provides the framework for a national approach to address the unmet needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals that are most at risk.  The Position Paper is intended to expand the ongoing discussion between service programs, educational programs, schools, advocates, research centers and federal program representatives regarding the challenges that individuals who are at risk present to the public education and rehabilitation systems.