SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced a new public awareness campaign to help people with disabilities enter the workforce. The IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) has joined forces with TV and radio stations statewide to get the word out about DRS Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services. Last year VR services helped more than 4600 Illinoisans with disabilities find good paying jobs.
DRS has recorded testimonials from several customers who have successfully entered the workforce and employers who have worked with the VR program and hired persons with disabilities. The department partnered with the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) to produce public service messages that start airing this month on 20 TV and 200 radio stations throughout the state. The theme of the spots is “Could their success be your success?”
“We want to spread the word about the many services we provide through the VR program. We are working to build partnerships with employers to help more people with disabilities find good jobs.” said IDHS Acting Secretary Grace Hong Duffin. “We hope that by hearing these amazing stories, people find out about how DRS vocational rehabilitation services have helped others and realize that their success could be your success.”
In addition to the public service announcements, DRS is notifying customers and employers of a range of service and benefits including college scholarships for people with disabilities and financial incentives of up to $1,000 for business.
“Hiring a worker with a disability is good for business at a time when employers need to find dependable, qualified and reliable workers” said Robert Kilbury, DRS Director and former recipient of Vocational Rehabilitation services. “It’s an opportunity to take advantage of state resources, diversify the workplace and gain a competitive advantage.”
Last month, IDHS announced federally-funded programs to create jobs for rehabilitation services workers and college scholarships that will result in competitive employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Interested persons may call toll-free at 877-761-9780, or TTY: 866-264-2149, or video: 866-588-0401. More information is available on the IDHS/DRS web site: www.drs.illinois.gov/success.