Home About Us Contact Us


Learn more about Talent and Prosperity for All

Print Print Friendly

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Robert Hines
PO Box 45340
Olympia WA 98504-5340
Telephone: (360) 725-3610
E-mail: robert.hines@dshs.wa.gov

Cassi Villegas

Community Programs Manager
Telephone: 360.725.3665

E-mail: cassi.villegas@dshs.wa.gov

Kristina Zawisza

Performance Management Analyst

PO Box 45340
Olympia WA 98504-5340
Telephone: 360-725-3605

E-mail: kristina.zawisza@dshs.wa.gov

State Website: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dvr/

Local Link: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/ra/dvr/find-an-office

Participation: DVR served 11,237 participants with disabilities during FFY 2014, including students, youth, and adults seeking to maintain or obtain employment. The vast majority of DVR participants have significant or multiple disabilities which present numerous disability-related barriers to employment.

Who is Served: Participants include individuals with all types of disabilities, with a focus on helping students with disabilities transition from school to the workplace. DVR’s services are available to individuals with disabilities who meet specific eligibility criteria. To determine if an individual with a disability is eligible for services, DVR certifies that an individual:


  • Has a physical, sensory or mental impairment that results in a substantial barrier to employment;
  • Requires vocational rehabilitation services to achieve employment; and
  • Can benefit from vocational rehabilitation services by achieving an employment outcome consistent with the participant’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.


Program Description:

DVR supports participants with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining employment by providing individualized vocational rehabilitation services. DVR prioritizes competitive, full-time employment which maximizes a participant’s strengths, abilities, interests, and earning potential. However, DVR also supports part-time employment, self-employment, or supported employment if these outcomes are best suited to a participant.


To successfully maintain or obtain employment, DVR participants work with their counselors to develop an individualized plan for employment (IPE). Through an IPE, a participant engages in individualized vocational rehabilitation services. These individualized services include, but are not limited to:

  • Vocational assessment services
  • Substantial rehabilitation guidance and counseling
  • Independent living services
  • Physical and mental restoration services
  • Assistive technology assessments and products
  • Job training, education, and career development programs
  • Job search, placement, and retention services

Program History: DVR is governed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including reauthorizations under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. As a core program of Washington’s workforce development system, DVR has strong partnerships and service delivery coordination with WorkSource sites as well as training and education providers across the state. This partnership includes providing extensive technical assistance to ensure that WorkSource core services are accessible to individuals with disabilities as well as direct service delivery at 16 WorkSource locations statewide.


As part of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), DVR supports customers in leveraging DSHS resources to maximize success and achieve greater independence and quality of life. These DSHS resources include TANF and WorkFirst through the Economic Services Administration (ESA), home and community supports provided by the Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA), and extended employment supports through the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).


The Washington State Tribal (American Indian) Vocational Rehabilitation Programs (AIVRP) provide services to American Indians with disabilities who are seeking employment. DVR and Tribal VR Programs work cooperatively to enhance the independence of individuals with disabilities, facilitate access to vocational rehabilitation services, and increase employment opportunities for those served by DVR and AIVRP.


A more comprehensive list of DVR’s federal, state, and community partners can be found here.

Planning Cycle: Aligned with Washington’s workforce development system, DVR submits a portion of the combined state plan every two years.

State Core Measures: Beginning in 2016, DVR will report on the six primary indicators of performance, as defined by WIOA. See Workforce Training Results at http://wtb.wa.gov/WorkforceTrainingResults.asp

Other Outcome Measures: DVR maintains a performance management system which including numerous customer, performance, productivity, and quality metrics. DVR maintains several data sharing agreements with workforce development programs, DSHS programs, and the Employment Security Department. These agreements allow DVR to evaluate participants’ engagement in numerous state and federal programs as well as former participants’ successful attachment to the labor market.

Funding and Regional Division: Headquartered in Lacey, DVR has 44 locations statewide, administered by three geographic areas. In addition, DVR serves participants in WorkSource Centers across the state. 

State Expenditures: $13,544,000 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015)

Federal Expenditures: $50,041,000 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015)

Statutory Authority: Federal: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.


State: WAC 388-891-005 through 1330 and RCW 74.29.005–08, administered by the Department of Social and Health Services.

Last Modified 8/19/2019   |   Privacy Statement   |   Site Map   |   Employment   |   Access Washington   |   Register to Vote