The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) presented the Kentucky State Police with a service award on Friday for their practice of helping Kentuckians with disabilities find needed services. The police received this honor because of the driver license examiner division’s ability to recognize hidden disabilities in individuals applying for commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). They are one of only 11 employers in Kentucky to receive this recognition and the first statewide agency.
“The state police have made positive contributions to Kentuckians with disabilities. When they so willingly assist our agency by referring people with potential disabilities, they are also helping these same people achieve employment and independence,” said OVR Executive Director Beth Smith. “So often a person’s future employment depends on the ability to drive a motor vehicle. This enables the person to become a tax-payer instead of a tax-user.”
The state police was nominated by OVR Counselor Tony Simning of Hopkinsville. Simning explained the reason for the award. “When consumers fail the permit test or the CDL test after several attempts, this is frequently a sign that this person may have a hidden disability. The close relationship of OVR and the drivers license examiner has enabled several positive effects. One is making sure that drivers of motor vehicles are better prepared for driving. Another is that when these drivers know the laws of the highway, they improve the safety of Kentucky roads.”
Mark L. Miller, Kentucky State Police commissioner, said he was pleased that KSP personnel are becoming alert to these types of situations. “I’m gratified that our driver examining personnel are recognizing that individuals who have trouble with driving tests may be doing so for reasons that aren’t always evident, yet need addressing,” said Miller. “I hope this continues to help raise awareness of individuals who have disabilities, how to make accommodations in those situations and how we’re all interdependent upon one another.”
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.