Vocational Rehabilitation is the provision of services to enable individuals with disabilities, including individuals with the most severe disabilities, to pursue meaningful careers by securing gainful employment commensurate with their abilities and capabilities. One or more Vocational Rehabilitation programs are funded in every state in the United States by the Rehabilitation Services Administration under the U.S. Department of Education. The Vocational Rehabilition system is authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which has been amended as recently as 1992. The purposes of the Act are:
(1) to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and
inclusion and integration into society, through--
(2) to ensure that the Federal Government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment of individuals with
- (A) comprehensive and coordinated state-of-the-art programs of vocational rehabilitation;
- (B) independent living centers and services;
- (C) research;
- (D) training;
- (E) demonstration projects; and
- (F) the guarantee of equal opportunity;
disabilities, especially individuals with severe disabilies, and in assisting states and providers of services in fulfilling
the aspirations of such individuals with disabilities for meaningful and gainful employment and independent living.
Information about MDA
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), formed in 1950, unites scientists and concerned citizens in an effort to conquer 40 neuromuscular diseases. These diseases include the muscular dystrophies, motor neuron diseases, inflammatory myopathies, diseases of the neuromuscular junction, diseases of the peripheral nerve, metabolic diseases of the muscles, myopathies due to endocrine abnormalities, and certain other myopathies.
Among the specific disease entities covered are Duchenne muscular dystrophy, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Myotonic dystrophy, Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, polymyositis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and myasthenia gravis.
MDA programs cover basic and applied scientific investigation, comprehensive services and clinical care, and widespread professional and public health education. A worldwide research program provides grants to physicians and scientists.
Direct services to patients include assistance with the purchase of wheelchairs, educational-recreational activities, a summer camping program, and support groups. Some 200 hospital affiliated clinics provide diagnostic services and therapeutic and rehabilitative followup care.
To provide information to physicians, nurses, and therapists, MDA sponsors scientific publications, convenes international seminars, and holds conferences of MDA clinic directors. A continuous education campaign
involves the dissemination of public service messages, audiovisual materials, brochures, pamphlets, and press releases.
MDA resource materials include a variety of publications and videotapes. Serial publications include the Annual Report--information on programs, research activities, medical services, fund-raising, and educational programs, as well as such organizational data as financial statements. Research materials are also available. Another serial publication is Quest, (magazine) quarterly--reports on the latest
research findings and issues of living with a neuromuscular disease.