It is the mission of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS), to provide appropriate and comprehensive services to Mississippians with disabilities in a timely and effective manner. Programs and services assist individuals with disabilities to gain employment, retain employment and to live more independently.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) provides services designed to improve economic opportunities for individuals with physical and mental disabilities through employment. In addition to general vocational rehabilitation services, programs include Supported Employment, Transition Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, and a network of 17 community rehabilitation centers (AbilityWorks) located throughout the state. These centers provide vocational assessment, job training and work experience for individuals with disabilities.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind (VRB) specializes in working with individuals with blindness and low vision to optimize their opportunities for inclusion into the workforce, community, and home. Counselors provide and coordinate services leading to employment which include assessment, vocational training, counseling and guidance, assistive technology, and job placement.
The Office of Special Disability Programs (OSDP) provides services to individuals with the most severe disabilities who do not necessarily demonstrate immediate potential for competitive employment. Home and community services are provided to individuals with the most severe disabilities to promote self-sufficiency and quality of life regardless of their immediate potential for employment. An individual who is eligible is one who has a severe disability that constitutes multiple barriers to the individual’s capacity to live independently and exhibits a strong likelihood that the individual will be able to live significantly more independent at home, avoiding institutionalization. Services are provided through two home and community based waivers: the Independent Living Waiver and the Traumatic Brain Injury/Spinal Cord Injury Waiver. In addition, education, awareness and prevention activities are carried out through the Traumatic Brain Injury/Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund.
The Office of Disability Determination Services (DDS), funded entirely through the Social Security Administration, establishes eligibility for Mississippians with severe disabilities who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income.