Vocational Rehabilitation honored nationally for mentor program
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (OVR) Rehabilitation Counselor Mentor Program received national recognition recently by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in Washington.
RSA awarded OVR with the Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Education and Training. OVR Director of Human Resources Susie Edwards was presented with the award at the National Council on Rehabilitation Education Conference in October. RSA gives this award “in recognition of an agency’s dedication to the public rehabilitation program and the innovative and effective efforts made on its behalf.”
OVR Executive Director Ralph Clark says the program is not just making a difference in Kentucky, but it is also setting a standard for other states to follow. “Many states have shown interest in the Kentucky Mentor Program and have emulated various aspects,” Clark said. “The program has successfully moved from impacting the districts and state to setting a standard within the profession of rehabilitation counseling.”
The program, which began in 2002, is now 25 mentors strong. The aim is to pair the most experienced rehabilitation counselors in the profession with new, less experienced counselors. The program helps the new counselors avoid common pitfalls of the profession as well as to get real advice from someone who has developed a system overcoming obstacles to finding employment for people with disabilities.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, an agency of the Education Cabinet’s Department for Workforce Investment, assists Kentuckians with disabilities to achieve gainful employment and independence. For more information about services, call the department toll free at 1-800-372-7172 or at 1-888-420-9874 (TDD) or visit the OVR Web site at www.ovr.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Education Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16 and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. For more information about our programs, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov or www.workforce.ky.gov, or call 502-564-6606.