The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation maintains a rehabilitation branch that consists of 12 staff members: a branch manager, a rehabilitation engineer, six rehabilitation technologists, two driver rehabilitation specialists, and an assistant. An occupational therapist at the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center assists the branch as needed. They work with consumers in conjunction with their rehabilitation counselors to determine what assistive technology devices and services can best meet their needs.
||Assistive Technology Services
Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2).
Individuals with disabilities use assistive technology to accommodate limitations due to their disabilities. At the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, we use assistive technology to address barriers faced by individuals with disabilities in education, employment, independent living, mobility, and transportation.
A rehabilitation engineer or technologist is an expert in assistive technology.
These individuals apply technology and engineering methodology to address the barriers confronted by individuals with disabilities. Many times, a rehabilitation engineer or technologist will be able to suggest a piece of equipment that is commercially available to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. Other times, the rehabilitation engineer will modify a device to meet an individual’s needs or design and fabricate a custom device.
The Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has regional rehabilitation technology coordinators who can provide these services to you. The rehabilitation technology coordinators work in conjunction with individuals with disabilities and their vocational rehabilitation counselors to determine what assistive technology devices and services can best meet their needs.
||Who uses Assistive Technology?
Individuals with disabilities use assistive technology to accommodate limitations due to their disabilities. At the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, we use assistive technology to address barriers faced by individuals with disabilities in education, employment, independent living, mobility, and transportation. For example:
Mary, an office manager, who uses a Lightwriter to communicate with people on the phone or in person.
Jeanne, a data entry specialist, who uses a split keyboard and special mouse to access the computer.
||The Driver Rehabilitation Technology Program
Individuals with disabilities must overcome problems with transportation to achieve employment goals. The Driver Evaluation/Vehicle Modification Program helps potential drivers understand and adapt to necessary driving restrictions. Vehicle modification and specialized training services offered through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation assist individuals with severe disabilities in obtaining or retaining driving privileges. Program services are available to new drivers, drivers with deficient driving skills and drivers who need special equipment training. Trained staff members assess driver skills, recommend vehicle modifications and provide driver training for individuals with disabilities. An occupational therapist determines the extent of physical/cognitive impairment, identifies the need for adaptive equipment or environmental adaptation and evaluates physical driving abilities. A driver evaluator determines if individuals with disabilities have special needs that must be accommodated in order to operate an automobile safely. Participants completing the driver evaluation program may be considered for driver training. Training programs are designed to meet the individual driving needs of the participant. Recommendations for vehicle modifications may include equipment assessment and fitting, followed by an inspection and safety check of the equipment after it is purchased and installed. For more information contact:
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Driver Evaluation/Vehicle Modification Branch
301 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40507
(859)246-2117 (859)246-2799 FAX