Shawnie Rechtenbaugh, Department Secretary

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Consumer Handbook

This handbook was prepared for you, your family members, friends and advocates. It will serve as a guide in the process of hiring, managing and supervising an individual that you have selected to provide employment services and supports. This individual will be referred to as a provider and will be required to meet standards established by the Divisions of Rehabilitation Services and Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired prior to providing these services.

Note: Purchasing of Services through all providers is contingent upon approval of the provider from the State Office of the Division of Rehabilitation Services.

Revised 1/16/2000


You may select any individual you chose to assist you in learning job duties. This person could be a family member, friend, or anyone that you believe would work well with you to learn the job tasks and adjust to the work environment. Once you have identified the person you want to serve as your provider, you should notify your vocational rehabilitation counselor with the person's name, address, and phone number.


It may be helpful to discuss this process with your DRS Counselor and interview the person that you are considering to provide your employment services. It is important that you feel comfortable talking to and working with the person you select. Here are some guidelines to consider when making your selection.

The Provider should:


Your Rehabilitation Counselor will assist you by contacting the provider you have selected and setting a meeting time in which the three of you can discuss your rehabilitation program. At this time your counselor will review your employment goal and your provider's responsibilities.


You and your provider must complete and sign the Consumer Certified Provider form. This form indicates that DRS/SBVI have certain requirements for service providers and you have decided to waive these requirements to better meet your needs.

The provider must complete an Authorization for Release of Criminal Records. This form must be completed at the local police station and submitted to the SD Division of Criminal Investigation. The provider must include a $15 check or money order with the completed form.

If approved by DRS/SBVI, the provider will be responsible for completing the monthly service, report form. This form should be developed jointly by you and the provider to identify your supports, record your progress and monitor your services.

The provider is being paid by DRS or SBVI to provide you quality services. In order for the provider to receive this payment, you will need to verify the number of hours you received services by signing the time sheets that the provider uses to bill DRS or SBVI for services. You will be responsible to inform the counselor if the provider's performance is unacceptable and does not meet your needs.


The provider is expected to provide one-to-one training to assist in learning your job duties. You should be assisted in understanding the in's and out's of the workplace and in meeting and getting to know your co-workers. You can expect the provider to perform other job related services.

These services include:

The provider should assist you in understanding how your disability effects your ability to complete required job duties. You should be treated as an adult in this process, actively participating in decisions. The provider should seek your input when determining the training and assistance needed to assist you in becoming as independent as possible while working at your job.

The provider should be assisting you in identifying methods by which you can independently get to and from work. Transportation may be temporarily furnished by the provider while long term arrangements are being made.

The provider should provide adequate training and supervision for you to successfully perform your job. Your co-workers and supervisor should also be assisted in understanding how best to communicate with you and help you learn job duties.

The provider should work with you, the employer, and your counselor to identify changes in the workplace routines, equipment, and tasks that will allow you to maximize your work potential.

Many people in supported employment programs are capable of learning new job duties with little or no training, but encounter difficulties when working with mid relating to their co-workers. The provider should assist you in learning how to communicate and work effectively with co-workers and supervisors. Together, you and the provider should develop strategies to assist in getting to know the people who are new to you at the workplace.

Your provider should continually be assisting you to become as in dependent as possible. One of the ways of doing this is to let you work on your own whenever possible. You should assist the provider in identifying the right times for you to begin working without assistance. As you work more and more on your own you, the provider and your counselor will be identifying the supports that may be needed when the provider will be absent from the workplace. These supports may include co-workers, supervisors, an adult service agency, family, or friends. It may also be necessary to identify a funding source that will purchase the long term supports needed to maintain your job.

There are several laws in place today that make it less difficult for you to access employment and that prohibit discrimination. Knowing these laws may help you understand your rights and to determine if you have been treated unfairly. To find out more about these laws contact the rehabilitation counselor.