October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

DJ Odell speaking>>Hi there. Welcome to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Facebook Townhall! My name is DJ Odell, Acting Supervisor of
the National Program Implementation Team. Tim Johnston speaking>>Hello! I’m Tim Johnston, Supervisor of Employment Services for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services. This month, October, is National Disability
Employment Awareness Month. It is a very important event for VR&E as our primary goal is to help eliminate barriers to employment for service members and Veterans that we serve. In today’s event, we are going to highlight
some of the more popular employment services we offer, as well as, highlight some of the
more exciting modernization initiatives that are happening at VR&E. In the area of employment, we have the Non-Paid Work Experience. This is very popular. It allows us to place a Veteran into a governmental agency, doing an actual job, gaining valuable work experience. The next initiative is the Special Employer
Incentive. This is a program where a Veteran is placed into a private employer and VR&E sponsors them by reimbursing the employer up to 50% for up to a maximum of 6 months. It is a great incentive. The next one is our OJT or On-the-Job Training and our Apprenticeships programs. Whether you want to be an electrician or a
National Service Officer assisting other service members and Veterans, VR&E can assist with both of those programs. And, then our last, is our Special Hiring
Authorities. This program allows our counselors, which all have at least have a masters degree, which qualifies them for assisting our participants with a hiring authority letter, which allows them to qualify and get preference with governmental jobs. And, with that, I am going to turn it over
to DJ to talk about some of our modernization initiatives. DJ speaking>>Thanks, Tim. VR&E is excited to offer all of these new
modernization initiatives. The first one I’d like to speak about is VA
Video Connect for Tele-Counseling, which is just as it sounds. You can now have a tele-counseling session, on video, live, with your vocation rehabilitation counselor in the confines of your own home or any other secured location of your choosing. Let your VRC know if you are interested in
obtaining this optional service. We’d also like to introduce IPPS, the Integrated Payment Processing System. This streamlines communications for authorizations and invoices between your VRC and the service provider. This allows the VRC to return their time to
you, the program participant. Additionally, we’d like to introduce EVA,
the Electronic Virtual Assistant powered by SARA. This is groundbreaking for VR&E. We now have a personal assistant that will be able to reach out to you and schedule and reschedule appointments, as well as obtain your documents or any other notes that you may have for your counselor, around the clock. This service will be available very soon. Check back with your VRC. Finally, the cornerstone of our modernization, the Case Management Solution contract was recently awarded to SBG Technologies. We’re going to work closely with them to integrate into our program and this will provide a holistic 360 degree view of each program participant’s case, to provide better services overall. This wraps up the modernization and employment initiatives we wanted to talk about today. As always, we would like to thank you for
your support as we continue to strive to help service members, Veterans and their families earn the benefits they deserve. Please exit our video and return to the FacebookTown Hall and follow along for a quick Question and Answer session. Thank you for watching. Tim speaking>>Thank you.

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