5160 Department of Rehabilitation
Program Descriptions


The Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program delivers vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities through vocational rehabilitation professionals in district and branch offices located throughout the state. In addition, the Department has cooperative agreements with state and local agencies (education, mental health, and welfare) to provide services to consumers. The Department operates under a federal Order of Selection process, which gives priority to persons with the most significant disabilities.

Persons with disabilities who are eligible for the Department's vocational rehabilitation services may be provided a full range of services, including vocational assessment, assistive technology, vocational and educational training, job placement, and independent living skills training to maximize their ability to live and work independently within their communities.

The Department provides comprehensive training and supervision to enable persons who are blind or visually impaired to support themselves in the operation of vending stands, snack bars, and cafeterias. Prevocational services are provided by the Orientation Center for the Blind to newly blind adults to prepare them for vocational rehabilitation services and independent living.

The Department works with public and private organizations to develop and improve community-based vocational rehabilitation services for the Department's consumers. The Department sets standards, certifies Community Rehabilitation Programs, and establishes fees for services provided to its consumers.

The Department works with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Labor to administer the Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income grant to develop and implement model demonstration projects that promote positive outcomes for children who receive Supplemental Security Income and their families to improve the provision and coordination of services and supports for child SSI recipients and their families.


The Department funds, administers, and supports 28 non-profit independent living centers in communities located throughout California. Each independent living center provides services necessary to assist consumers to live independently and be productive in their communities. Core services consist of information and referral, peer counseling, benefits advocacy, independent living skills development, housing assistance, personal assistance services, and personal and systems change advocacy.

The Department administers and supports the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program. In coordination with consumers and their families, seven service providers throughout California provide a coordinated post-acute care service model for persons with TBI, including supported living, community reintegration, and vocational supportive services.

The Department provides specialized services to blind and deaf-blind persons through counselor-teacher services, purchase of reader services, and community-based projects to serve the elderly blind.


The Administration Program provides overall management planning, policy development, and administrative support services to departmental programs.