Rotary pitched potential interns

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Helping disabled individuals find employment is the goal of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.

That was the message shared with members of the Rotary Club of Picayune during Tuesday’s meeting.

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Nancy Vierling, Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services Business Development Representative, spoke about rehabilitation services the organization provides to individuals with disabilities through its various programs.

Vierling said the organization works with any individual who has a physical, mental, emotional or psychological disability that interferes with their ability to work.

As long as the person has documentation certifying their disability, the organization can help them with vocational exploration, assistive technology, job training and job development

“Our ultimate goal is employment,” Vierling said.

Statewide, the organization provides a counselor program where mentally and physically challenged individuals receive one-on-one help to determine if going to work will affect their disability benefits, she said.

MDRS’ Office of Special Disability Programs reaches out to individuals with severe disabilities to get them on the path of self-sufficiency, Vierling said.

Some of the services provided through MDRS’ waiver program include home modifications such as ramps, specialized medical equipment/supplies, personal care services, and some vehicle modifications, she said.

Vierling said, the Office of Disability Determination Services works to determine if individuals are eligible to receive benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Their eligibility is determined through medical records from doctors and physicians.

The organization also helps young people with disabilities who have recently graduated high school to secure employment, Vierling said.

The program was initially only offered during the summer but was recently expanded to help them secure internships throughout the year. Salary reimbursement for that individual is covered by MDRS for a period of time.

Since her job is to help individuals with disabilities such as autism or blindness find internships, at the end of the presentation she offered resumes for six disabled citizens looking for jobs, including people with skills in IT and medical fields.