The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is piloting a project with Colorado AgrAbility (CAP) to facilitate the DVR process for most CAP clients. Colorado DVR has resources specifically for entrepreneurs, including a subset of counselors who specialize in self-employment cases. Most CAP clients who qualify for DVR fit into their self-employment category, so this DVR program has long been a focus of CAP’s networking efforts. The existing application procedure requires ALL applicants to start with a “general” counselor for intake and eligibility determination, and then—at the counselor’s discretion—be referred to a Self-Employment Specialist once the “official” employment goal is established. The CAP staff has observed that it is this early part of the DVR process that is particularly frustrating for clients who are simply trying to retain their current employment on their own farm, as opposed to exploring other career options. The new pilot project simplifies procedures by identifying a single Self-Employment Counselor to accept CAP referrals, refer them to the appropriate local office, and help coordinate CAP/DVR collaboration on the case.
CAP staff hosted a booth at the 29th Annual Four States Ag Expo in Cortez, CO on March 16-19, 2011. An estimated 12,000-15,000 people attend the 4-day event each year. The CAP booth highlighted a variety of AT for use in tasks around the workplace and home, providing attendees a variety of tools, adaptations, and other gadgets to explore. CAP was also invited to deliver 2 educational presentations over the course of the event.