Posted on Jun 3, 2020 in NEWS


June 3, 2020

Department of Human Services Commemorates 100 Years of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Individuals with Disabilities

Honolulu, Hawai’i – June 2020 marks 100 years of Vocational Rehabilitation services in the United States, and the Hawai’i Department of Human Services is paying tribute to this historical month with a resolute commitment to continue to change the lives of individuals with disabilities through its Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVR) programs.  President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Fess Act of 1920, also known as the Industrial Rehabilitation Act and referred to as “The National Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act,” into law in June 1920.

Maureen Bates, DVR administrator shares, “As we look back and celebrate 100 years of Vocational Rehabilitation services in the America, we stand together with our community partners to strengthen opportunities for the individuals we serve with disabilities, to obtain competitive integrated employment in Hawai’i’s workforce. Now more than ever, amidst this unprecedented economic crisis from the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic, it is truly vital to further the vision of Department of Human Services, to help the people of Hawai’i to thrive.”

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) plays a key leadership role through its resources and technical assistance to state vocational rehabilitation programs as well as community based organizations.

On June 2, 2020, RSA showcased Vocational Rehabilitation success stories on a nation-wide webinar that can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB2MAHq5hxY&feature=youtu.be

On a local level, Hawaii’s DVR program has changed the lives of many individuals throughout the state.

Media interviews can be arranged through the department’s Public Information Officer.


About DVR:

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides services to Hawai’i community members who experience barriers to employment due to a physical or cognitive disability. DVR is designed to assist job seekers with disabilities prepare, secure, and retain competitive employment in an integrated work setting. DVR furnishes the finest resources and opportunities for training, support, and career placement. Productive partnerships with other state agencies, private non-profits, and employers pave the way for our consumers to find successful employment with the reality of competitive wages. The underlying philosophy and goal of the DVR is thorough employment, individuals with disabilities are empowered toward economic self-sufficiency, independence, inclusion, and integration into society.

Media Contact:
Amanda Stevens, Public Information Officer
Department of Human Services
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 586-4892