Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vocational Rehab

This is new terminology for me.  We're learning.  As  you know, we have a teenage daughter that will be entering the work force.  She is on the occupational track at her school.  And though I must admit skeptical at first, I'm now coming around to the idea.  We had our first meeting today.  The gentleman was very nice, very honest on what to expect. At one point, I had Irina go get me a drink of water so that he and I could discuss further items.  He was very informative and I appreciated that.  Irina will be starting to work as early as next week through this program.  It would be a paid position.  Once that semester is over, she may continue through the summer.  Next year though, she would serve in the community which I have mixed feelings about.  My feeling is, if you're going to work, developmentally disabled or not, they should PAY you.  They don't in the community part b/c they claim it is more of an "apprenticeship."  I personally think that is wrong.  I have been on the other end of this.  When I was a manager, I worked directly w/ the social services and I hired disabled adults.  And you know what??  We PAID them like every other employee!!!  Apparently, this is all legal.  I don't know if I'll be able to keep my mouth shut when she does the so called "community" part.  I just think it is taking advantage of free labor.  Okay, now that I'm positive I ruffled feathers, I'll move on. 

I like this part next week where she will indeed be paid.  I think it shows her hard work will pay off.  They will guide her, teach her, observe her in a work environment, etc.  I think it is a great fit.  She is looking forward to it but also a little hesitant which I think is normal.  I really can't wait to hear about Irina's first day of work.  This will be during school hours so we have to switch the schedule around.  Cleveland was awesome and did it for us right after the meeting!  They were willing to do what they could to help Irina.  She does have some awesome teachers and they seem to want to go above and beyond for the kids.  I appreciate that.  It's like night and day from her previous high school.  Just pleasant to go to a meeting and not have to be angry before you even enter the building.  It's more relaxed here and much more cooperative to do what is in the best interest of the child. 

I will keep you posted how it all progresses.  Would love to hear from others who've done the community work w/ their kids for no pay.  What are  your thoughts?  Am I reading too much into it?  This is new territory for us and maybe this is how it's done.  However, I know when I was a teen and did work, it was for pay.  Unless it was a volunteer....something I wanted to do.  Not something I had to do.  Big difference I feel.  Again, my opinions.  I would love feedback on this topic though as this is our first older child going through this experience.  Thanks in advance.  I just can't wait to see how Irina likes her job the first week.  Much more to come.  Have another picture post but still contemplating posting it.  We'll see.  Well, need to go.  Summer and Nik have decided gymnastics is in order for the living room. 


  1. I agree with you if she does the work she should get paid for it.

  2. I agree she should be paid for any work.

  3. When my oldest was a senior, he did a work/study through vocational rehab for the entire year. He was paid for every minute and he has been using the skills he learned at a hard scaping job he has had for seven years.