Everett Adamson, district manager of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, discussed the services his agency offered at Wednesday's noon meeting of the Helena-West Helena Rotary Club.
Everett Adamson, district manager of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, discussed the services his agency offered at Wednesday's noon meeting of the Helena-West Helena Rotary Club. According to Adamson, ARS helps people with disabilities so that they are empowered to become employed or to stay employed. “It's the reason we get out of bed every morning,” commented Adamson. “We believe that earning a living is a basic right and it is both valuable to the individual and the community.” Adamson explained that ARS currently over 75 counties, 10 districts with 19 offices in each district. “I cover District 3 which includes Mississippi, Lee, Phillips, Crittenden, Monroe, Francis and Cross counties,” continued Adamson. According to Adamson for every dollar spent by Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, $7 is returned back into the community. “This is where your tax dollars are very well spent because they help people in Arkansas,” said Adamson. Adamson reports that roughly over $400,000 has been spent to help the people in Phillips County. Adamson explained that ARS works with anyone with a disability whether it is emotional, physiological, or physical. “Individuals that receive SSI or SSDI are automatically deemed eligible for ARS services,” commented Adamson. Adamson explained that the referral process starts in the Helena office. “Eligibility determination can take up to 60 days,” explained Adamson. Vocational rehabilitation (VR) services include the following: • Diagnosis and evaluation of capacities and limitations • Guidance and counseling • Career and technical education • Job placement • Physical and cognitive restorative services • Assistive technology • Residential career training facility and hospital • Transition services for high school students with disabilities who are moving from high school to further education or work • Scholarships and leadership programs for students with disabilities • Financial assistance to kidney transplant recipients • Community rehabilitation programs • Supported employment services • Supported housing “Every service that we provide is absolutely free. We take pride in providing counseling and guidance and independent living services,” commented Adamson. Adamson announced that ARS also offers services for the deaf and hard of hearing. Through this program hearing aids and amplified telephones can be bought for individuals that qualify for SDSH. “This program is a little bit different in that the requirements are a little bit more stressed because it is a specialty program with little money,” said Adamson. Employment is always a major goal for ARS. “We try to get involved in making it a reality to those with disabilities and their present or potential employer. If there is anything that we can do to encourage employment or retain that employment status, we are more than willing to try to make it work for both the individual and the employer or consumer,” concluded Adamson. About ARS: ARS is funded through a federal and state partnership with federal funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education comprising nearly 80 percent of the budget. To learn more about ARS programs and services, contact Everett Adamson at West Memphis (870) 733-6211, 870-338-8003, or 501-773-8450. You can also visit ace.arkansas.gov to locate the field office nearest you. Each field office is staffed by vocational rehabilitation counselors to get things started.