Programs That Support Work

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

The Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) can help you prepare for and find work. They can help you get the training or other services that you need to return to work, enter a new line of work, stay in the workforce, or enter the workforce for the first time. The vocational rehabilitation services that DRS offers depend on your strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests. A DRS counselor works with you to figure these out and make a plan for reaching your work goals.

To become eligible for services from DRS, you must have a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult for you to find and keep a job. If you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) based on your disability, you probably qualify for DRS.

DRS can be your service provider for the Ticket to Work program, or you may be eligible for DRS services without being in the Ticket program.

Use the Department of Health Services Office Locator to find a rehabilitation services office near you, or call 1-877-581-3690 or 1-800-447-6404 (TTY).

Specialized DRS Support Services

You can get specialized support from DRS if you are:

  • Blind or visually impaired
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Hispanic or Latino with a disability

Learn more in DB101's section on Specialized DRS Support Services.

DRS Transition Services for Students

Illinois students with disabilities who are 14.5 years old to 21 years old may qualify for Pre-Employment Transition Services (PTS) or Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP) services to help them become productive, self-sufficient adults. Many of these services are provided through local high schools, and can include:

  • Job exploration counseling
  • Work-based-learning experience
  • Counseling on college or vocational training programs
  • Workplace readiness training
  • Self-advocacy instruction
  • In-school and worksite training options, including internships, with the goal of having an employer-paid job in an integrated community setting

To learn more, read the downloadable brochure on Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities or call DRS at 1-877-581-3690, 1-866-264-2149 (TTY), or 1-312-957-4881 (videophone or VP).

Other Resources

Schools for Children and Youth with Disabilities

DRS runs three residential schools designed to prepare children and youth with disabilities to live successfully as independent, self-supporting citizens who are actively involved in their communities:

Learn more