Transition Service

Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) places substantial emphasis on assisting youth with disabilities in the transition from school to post school activities.  Transition services are a coordinated set of activities that lead to employment. A vocational rehabilitation counselor works with youth and their families to assess their needs and plan individualized services to meet their chosen vocational goal.  Every public high school in Alabama has a vocational rehabilitation counselor assigned to provide transition services. Please see the interagency agreement between the ADRS and ALSDE. 


  • Assistive technology/accommodations – to enable students to participate in post-high school training or employment.
  • Career exploration – may include investigating occupational interest areas through real or simulated job experiences job shadowing.
  • College preparation – training to enter into post-secondary education, including learning study skills, using accommodations, and managing college life.
  • Financial assistance – for college training, work-related equipment, and other needs based on family financial resources.
  • Job coaching – services on the job to learn the essential functions of the job and retaining employment
  • Job placement and retention – to assist with obtaining and maintaining employment.
  • Job readiness training – to prepare for seeking employment, preparing for interviews, and completing applications.
  • Personal work adjustment – services designed to assist with teaching and training appropriate work habits and job skills.
  • Post-employment services – short-term services provided after employment related to your vocational goal.
  • Social skills training – assist students with learning appropriate behaviors on the job and in the community.
  • Vocational guidance and counseling – provided throughout the process to assist students and families make informed decisions regarding employment.
  • Vocational needs assessments – measures an individual's strengths and limitations, consider interests and abilities, and provide the individual with information that can be used in vocational planning for the future.
  • Other rehabilitation services based on individual need.

Pre-Employment Transition Services

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and now requires the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation to set aside at least 15% of our federal funds to provide pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS). 

Pre-ETS are an early start at job exploration and social skills acquisition to prepare students for careers in today’s workforce.  These services must be made available to all students with disabilities, regardless of whether the student has applied or been determined eligible for VR services.  Pre-employment transition services are available only to students with disabilities.

Student with a Disability: An individual with a disability in a secondary, postsecondary*, or other recognized education program who:

  • Is not younger than the earliest age for the provision of transition services under section 614 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (in Alabama that is 9th grade or age 16); or
  • Is not older than 21 years of age;


  • Is eligible for, and receiving, special education or related services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; or
  • Is a student who is an individual with a disability, for purposes of section 504.

Five Required Activities

These required services must be provided based on the individual needs of the student, thus, each student may not need all of the five activities.  Any of the five required activities can be provided in a group or individual setting in the classroom, community or employment site. 

  1. Job exploration counseling
  2. Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after school opportunities, experiences outside of the traditional school setting, and/or internships
  3. Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs
  4. Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living
  5. Instruction in self-advocacy

Pre-employment transition services may be provided via the following methods:

  • ADRS staff provided services (VR counselor, Business Relations Consultant, etc)
  • A vendor paid service (CRP or local vendor in the area)
  • Memorandum of Agreement of which the entity directly provides the service


Pre-Employment and Transition Programs

  • Alabama Governor's Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) –  an innovative, intensive, five-day career leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities throughout Alabama.
  • Disability Mentoring Day Students with disabilities (mentees) are matched with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests. This event is handled locally in a variety of ways. Contact your local VRS office.
  • Learning Disabilities Project
  • Project Search –a unique, business-led, one-year, school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Contact Tina Dortch at the 1-800-441-7607. 
  • Prison Transition Initiativea collaboration with the Special Education Division of the Alabama Department of Education and the Department of Corrections serving youth with disabilities who are incarcerated in adult prisons.
  • School-based Jointly Funded Pre-Employment Transition Specialist a collaboration between VRS and participating local school systems to provide pre-employment transition services in schools for students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services.
  • Job Exploration Training (JET)- Developed by participating community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) to enable students with significant disabilities attending high school to be better prepared to enter the workforce, explore different jobs in real world settings and have paid work in their communities.
  • Connections – a program primarily for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) aimed at enhancing employment outcomes through social skills training with community integration.
  • Supported Employment – provides community-based assessments, job development, job coaching and extended support to meet the employment needs of individuals with the most- significant disabilities.
  • Teen Transition Clinic –   a team clinic for youth with special health care needs from ages 12-21 who are eligible for Children's Rehabilitation Service and are beginning to plan for transition to adulthood. This clinic is a partnership among CRS, Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS), the State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) Service, and other community providers.


Transition Resource Network

Additional Resources: 

Technical Assistance

For more information about transition services, contact Tasha Harrison-Betts at 251-375-2190.