Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation

Transition and Youth Services

ACCES-VR works with students, families and school districts to coordinate appropriate services for students with disabilities who are leaving secondary education and entering adult vocational rehabilitation and related services. These efforts are crucial to enable students to achieve maximum success in post-school activities consisting of integrated employment (including supported employment), post-secondary education, independent living, and community participation. Students who are expected to exit school within two years should be referred to ACCES-VR when:

  1. The school, student and/or parents jointly recognize that the student's disability will interfere with his/her ability to work in the community and that ACCES-VR services are necessary to help the student successfully achieve employment; and
  2. The vocational rehabilitation services needed are not among the continuum of mandated school district programs.

Transition services are a coordinated set of activities for secondary students with disabilities, designed to achieve specific outcomes, which promote movement from school to post-school activities. The coordination is carried out by the school district, with the active participation of the student, his or her family and appropriate community service agencies, including ACCES-VR.

The coordinated set of activities is based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences, potential, abilities and interests. These activities include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. The goal of transition services is not simply a referral to ACCES-VR, but rather post-secondary education, adult education and training, adult services, independent living, community participation, a specific job or career, and/or integrated community living.

Service Planning

The goal of transition services is to ensure that students with disabilities are prepared for employment, post-secondary education, or community living when they leave school. As a participant in this process, the ACCES-VR counselor can:

  1. Contribute knowledge of rehabilitation services and outcomes;
  2. Identify the need for involvement by other state agencies, adult service programs, independent living centers and community based services whose resources can assist students with disabilities, their families and educational personnel during the transition planning and service delivery process;
  3. Provide information to assist in the selection of suitable vocational goals that are consistent with labor market needs and integrated community living opportunities, including providing information about:
    • work site accommodations;
    • employer expectations;
    • labor trends and occupational outlooks;
    • job entry qualifications;
    • job placement analysis;
    • and other vocational-related issues.

A process should be in place in each school district to assure that students with disabilities have a formal transition plan if needed, in collaboration with the ACCES-VR district office.  If a referral to ACCES-VR is needed, it should be initiated by school staff. With the permission of the student and/or family, ACCES-VR will be given copies of relevant referral materials from the school record in order to help establish the student's eligibility for services.

If you need additional information about transition planning, contact the Principal at your high school.

Learn more about:
Transition Planning Servicesexit site

Services for Youth

The need for transition planning does not end when high school ends. Since transition is a process and often a continuum of differing needs over time, youth are considered to be anyone who applies for services prior to reaching the age of 25.

Some services have been specifically designated Youth Employment Services (YES) in a effort to focus attention on this age group, which makes up almost 50% of the population served by Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) in New York State.

Statewide Team

A statewide team was officially launched on April 1, 2014 with a dedicated staff person assigned in each district office.
The goals of the team are:

  • To engage youth, parents, high schools, and other transition specialist in exploring and planning career choices that connect to a full range of post-secondary options for training, career development, and employment;
  • To improve the number, quality, and rate of employment outcomes for youth participating in VR services;
  • To collaborate with multiple stakeholders, including other state agencies, Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) and Regional Special Education – Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC) Transition Specialists; and,
  • To substantiate the policies and practices that lead to increased outcomes through gathering and tracking data and using it to guide the implementation and continuous improvement efforts at building knowledge and skill of VR staff and our partners.


Last Name First Name Title Office Email Phone
Alvarado Brian SVRC Manhattan (212) 967-3519
Betances Maria SVRC Bronx (718) 931-3858
Canfield Gwenn SVRC White Plains (845) 426-5423
Delany Michele SVRC Queens (347) 510-3112
Douglas Cuquita SVRC Brooklyn (718) 722-6795
Ginster Carol SVRC Utica (315) 793-2512
Hartmann Laura SVRC Hauppauge (631) 952-6364
Joyce Kathleen SVRC Syracuse (315) 428-4034
McArdle Helene SVRC Mid-Hudson (845) 346-4264
Murphy Kathy SVRC Albany (518) 485-5504
Pearson Suzanne SVRC Southern Tier (607) 721-8397
Skender Elizabeth SVRC Rochester (585) 238-2965
Steiner Amy Manager Central (518) 474-3161
Weissberg Barbara SVRC Garden City (516) 227-6852
Wilcox Kathy SVRC Malone (518) 483-3530
Wolf Sarah SVRC Buffalo (716) 848-8016

Last Updated: May 6, 2015