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Vocational Rehabilitation

Helping People Work

The OCB Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program provides Oregonians with job readiness assistance. Experienced VR counselors help clients hone many of the skills necessary to obtain or retain employment. We then pair businesses in search of skilled and dedicated employees with a pool of talented candidates. All OCB job readiness services are free to qualified Oregonians and to the employers who hire them. Read our VR rack card to learn more!

Request services from the Oregon Commission for the Blind for yourself, a relative, a friend, or a client.

In order to participate in OCB’s VR program, clients must be legally blind or have conditions leading to legal blindness in less than two years from eligibility determination. For additional information related to legal blindness / OCB VR eligibility please read the State of Oregon's Admin Rule: Definition of legal blindness. For more information on the VR program, please read the VR Policy Manual and the VR Rights and Responsibilities.

Please note that in all OCB programs, employees are subject to state mandatory reporter laws related to child abuse and elder abuse.


Our vocational counselors work with eligible Oregonians who are blind to develop plans that will address their unique needs and help them reach their employment goals. Specialized services can include:

  • Adjustment to vision loss training and support
  • Adaptive skills and travel training
  • Communication and self-advocacy coaching
  • Vocational counseling and guidance
  • Job search assistance and vocational skills training
  • Adaptive technology and low vision aids
  • Paid internship opportunities
  • On-site job retention services and support

Counselors may arrange client instruction on adaptive daily living skills, assistive technology, low vision, orientation and mobility/white cane travel, and other blindness skills training. Based on staff availability and client needs, training is provided via specialized staff in our Orientation and Career Center for the Blind (OCCB), field office instructors who work under our Workforce and/or Independent Living teams, or external vendors.

Orientation and Career Center for the Blind (OCCB)

The Orientation and Career Center for the Blind (OCCB) is an in-depth, residential training program located in Portland. Eligible clients are referred to the training program by their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The majority of the Center's participants are people who have become blind in adulthood and must learn new methods of performing everyday activities.

Assistive Technology Services and Training

Our Workforce and center specialists work with Oregonians who are blind or visually impaired to assist them in achieving independence and employment through assistive tools/technology. To reach this goal, we:

  1. Assess an individual's adaptive needs
  2. Train individuals in one-on-one sessions to use adaptive technology
  3. Work with employers and employees to optimize adaptive software, hardware, and general software at a job site
  4. Provide technical support for adaptive software and hardware
  5. Participate in public awareness and education programs

Our training sites contain workstations with commonly used current adaptive and general Windows software and hardware to help us meet our training and assessment goals.

The core of our software includes screen-reading, optical character recognition and magnification software, as well as several brands of refreshable braille displays.

Please note that in all OCB programs, employees are subject to state mandatory reporter laws related to child abuse and elder abuse.

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