From MU's Disability Policy & Studies
Disability Policy and Studies is a departmental-level office of the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri. DPS is home to a number of projects related to issues of employment, independent living, community integration, and access for persons with disabilities. In general these projects do not provide direct services to persons with disabilities, but instead provide advice, training, and support to agencies and groups that provide those services.
DPS at the University of Missouri primarily serves the Great Plains states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. It has been in existence, in one form or another, since 1975. Until 2005 it was housed within the College of Education at the University of Missouri.
Dr. C. David Roberts is the Director of Disability Policy and Studies.
Address: The offices for Disability Policy and Studies are off campus, south of Rock Bridge High School, at 98 Corporate Lake Drive.
Vocational rehabilitation is the primary focus of the DPS projects. Rehabilitation, as used here, does NOT specifically involve treatment for drug or alcohol dependency. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is about jobs. It is the federal and state system of agencies that help people with significant disabilities find and keep jobs - specifically career-oriented jobs that will allow them to live as independently as possible in their local community. Although it is little known outside of the disability community, VR is a large and politically popular program with a history reaching back to 1920. It is estimated that the combined federal, state, and private budgets devoted to VR total around thirty billion dollars. Each state has its own VR agency, frequently housed somewhere in the labor, education, or welfare departments. These agencies, in turn, have branch offices throughout the state, each staffed with trained and licensed VR counselors. Taken together, the system of public rehabilitation agencies each year helps around 800,000 new people with disabilities live independently and find jobs.
RSA is the Rehabilitation Services Administration with the US Department of Education, and it is the agency of the Federal Government that oversees the states' VR services. RSA distributes matching funds to the states to help provide VR services, but it does not directly provide VR services to individuals and it does not directly supervise the state agencies. Instead, RSA considers itself an advisor to the states on how to adequately meet the requirements and expectations of Congress as expressed in the Rehabilitation Act. Administratively, RSA divides the country into 10 regions. Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas comprise RSA Region 7.
Last Updated January 15, 2010