DVR Newsletter - June, 2019 Issue

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation's latest initiatives and activities.

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Man with silver hair, beard and mustache,, smiling and wearing a dark grey suit, maroon tie and glasses.

By Jim Kreatschman, DVR Transition Specialist

Student in protective goggles, on one knee, leans over to measure and mark plywood and two by fours with a ruler and pencil.This spring, 65 students from southeast Alaska participated in the Explore program. The Explore program is a hands-on career exploration opportunity in the high-demand fields of Construction, Power Technology, and Healthcare. Every student had the opportunity to explore two career fields over the course of the 4-day program.

Two state troopers talk to DVR BEST Representatives at Job Fair in Anchorage.

By Cindy Murphy-Fox, DVR Assistant Chief; and Pik-ha Soo, DVR Training Specialist. Photos by Pik-ha Soo.

The DVR Business Employment Services Team (BEST) are experts at saving employers time and money when hiring qualified people with disabilities.

By Jason Caputo, DVR Communications Lead

photos courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute and Irtma Goodwine. Three picture depict native alaskan carving and skin sewing and a small Alaskan town with a boardwalk and ATV in the foreground.Alaskan Natives make up 14 percent of Alaska's population and the majority live in remote and rural communities. Alaska Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation programs are a vital partner to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation's (DVR) work in serving Alaska Natives. They help us reach farther, better connect with communities, and provide services in a culturally sensitive and relevant manner.

Alaska is fortunate to have ten Federally funded American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) programs (also known as Tribal Vocational Programs or TVR) funded under Section 121 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1978, as Amended, who serve Alaska Natives and American Indians with disabilities living in Alaska.
There are approximately 103,000* Alaska Natives residing in Alaska, which is 14-percent of Alaska's population. The majority of these individuals live in remote and rural communities such as Dillingham, Bethel, and Nome.** There are many different types of Alaska Natives, each of which has its own culture and unique characteristics, including different languages and traditions.

AIVRS/TVR programs are vital partners to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). They help DVR serve Alaska Natives who are in remote and rural locations in a culturally sensitive manner. During FFY 2018, the SVRC was fortunate to have AIVRS Directors from Kawerak, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA), and the Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA), share their perspectives on serving Alaska Native individuals with disabilities in their different respective regions.

The Kawerak and KANA Directors also presented to DVR's Rural Services Counseling Team, which focuses on delivering and improving services to Alaska Native individuals living in remote and rural Alaska. In SYF18, 27-percent of the individuals served by DVR identified as Alaska Native, which is a direct result of the continuous improvement in service delivery that DVR has made because of its partnerships with AIVRS/ TVR programs.

* U.S. Census Bureau, 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

** 2013 study by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

delighted to welcome Alice Foley, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation's (DVR) new Administrative Operations Manager. She works in our Juneau Central Office and provides oversight of DVR's budget, procurement, and personnel.