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OVR Early Reach Program

Overview

Early Reach is an outreach initiative intended to promote successful outcomes for youth with disabilities by increasing awareness of OVR services and the benefits of early career planning. The Early Reach Coordinator will reach out to youth with disabilities, their parents, local schools and community agencies that serve youth.

Contacting An Early Reach Coordinator

Parents, guardians, school personnel and community agencies may request outreach services by contacting an early reach coordinator listed below or by visiting www.dli.pa.gov.  Written consent must be received from a parent or guardian before individual services can be provided to youth with disabilities under the age of 18.

Building a better future: Transitioning from school to work and independence:

What is transition?

Transition is the movement from school to post-school life.  Youth with disabilities may require services and support in their transition to life after high school.  This requires planning and coordination long before they leave the educational setting.

OVR’s role in the transition process

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Counselors work closely with school personnel and agency staff to help eligible youth with disabilities secure and maintain employment and independence after transitioning from the education system.  OVR services are employment-focused and based on the unique needs of each individual.  Youth with disabilities who are interested in OVR services must be planning to obtain competitive employment.

Early Reach Initiative

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation started early reach to increase successful outcomes for youth with disabilities by increasing awareness of OVR services, independent living skills, career planning and the role of OVR in the transition from school to adult life.

Early Reach Coordinators

An Early Reach Coordinator is assigned to each of the 15 Office of Vocational Rehabilitation district offices in Pennsylvania to connect earlier with youth with disabilities, their parents, local schools and other community agencies.  Coordinators reach out to youth with disabilities as early as age 14, so that they know more about OVR services and what to expect from vocational rehabilitation services.  In addition, Coordinators are knowledgeable about the full array of services available to youth with disabilities.

The Role of the Early Reach Coordinator

Early Reach Coordinators provide informational presentations and consultations to school personnel, community agencies, youth with disabilities and families to outline the services offered by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.  Coordinators also provide education and consultation on the benefits of early career planning and the development of independent living skills.  Coordinators can assist youth with disabilities in planning and applying for OVR services, and can provide consultation and links to resources that will help youth with disabilities pursue both independence and participation in the workforce.

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OVR Early Reach Program Early Reach is an outreach initiative intended to promote successful outcomes for youth with disabilities by increasing awareness of OVR services and the benefits of early career planning. pdf Download file: OVR Early Reach Program

This resource created by Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry