Archive for September, 2011

September is National Pain Awareness Month

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

The purpose of Pain Awareness Month is to bring attention to the suffering of 75 million Americans and to highlight the need for research and new, improved treatment options. 

How You Can Observe Pain Awareness Month:

The American Pain Foundation Action Network is asking that you join the “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” campaign to raise awareness and help secure a first-ever presidential proclamation naming every September National Pain Awareness Month. 

Rest Ministries is sponsoring National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week from September 12 – 18, 2011.  Their Web site features a number of opportunities to participate including guest bloggers who discuss various issues people with invisible illnesses face every day, and virtual conferences you can access through your computer. 

“Autism on the Seas” Now Offering Land Resort Stays

Monday, September 5th, 2011

“Autism on the Seas”  is expanding their vacation offerings.   They are not only continuing to offer Cruise Vacations for Special Needs families, they are now offering Land Resort Stays as well.

“Autism on the Seas” first Resort Stay will be in August 2012, at the all Inclusive
Club Med Resort, Sandpiper Bay in St Lucie Florida

For More information click here

VOPA Requests Feedback Regarding DRS’ Order of Selection

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

VOPA has requested feedback regarding DRS’ Order of Selection through the following message:

Have you heard that the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services is “closed for business”? This is not true! If you are considering asking for vocational assistance, you should apply as soon as possible.   DRS is currently operating under an “Order of Selection,” with all of its selection categories closed.   This means when someone is found eligible for services, they will be placed on a waiting list to receive services.   But that does NOT mean you should not apply.

The Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy (VOPA) encourages anyone who might be thinking of vocational rehabilitative service to apply now, if only to get yourself on the waiting list, which DRS claims will open again sometime this fall.  VOPA is currently working with a client during this application phase.  DRS has already provided him with an extensive psychological evaluation which identified needed accommodations.  The evaluation also identified areas of functional limitations that he was unaware he had.  The next step is that the individual will under go a Situational Assessment and a vocational evaluation. All of these services are key to his future employment success.  None of this could be happening if DRS was really “closed for business.”

There are many benefits a person can receive during the application process.  You can receive needed evaluations, including psychological and other medical evaluations, vocational evaluations, and assistive technology evaluations.  These evaluations help determine the level of services or accommodations you might need when looking for work, and can be very useful to you as you consider your options.

During the application phase, you may also receive a Trial Work Experience or Situational Assessment if needed to determine eligibility for services.  This allows you to go into a place of employment on an experimental basis, to see if this really is the type of work you want to do.  Many times, you can have a Job Coach during this trial situation, and the trial situation can also help you identify any needed accommodations for future employment.

For more information about VOPA and to give them your feedback on working with DRS, and in other areas, please go to and take their annual public input survey.

Sheri has concentrated her law practice to the areas of Social Security Disability Law MORE...

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