Executive Director: Apisa Pete Poumele
Deputy Executive Director: Donna Alalamua
1. Mission Statement
2. What we are
3. Who is eligible
What are we?
Vocational Rehabilitation Office is a public service available to you when a physical or mental disability impedes with your ability to obtain or retain work. Vocational Rehabilitation can provide those services necessary for you to overcome your disability, and prepare you to find employment.
Department history and mandate:
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) was established under a General Memorandum decreed by Governor Peter Tali Coleman in 1981. OVR remained under the direction of the governor's office until 1984 when Governor A.P. Lutali moved OVR under auspices of the Department of Human Resources, which changed the name from OVR to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). In 1996 Governor Tauese Sunia established a new department called the Department of Human and Social Services which led to DVR being moved once again as a front line agency under this department. In 2008 Governor Togiola Tulafono moved the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation back under the auspices of the Governor's Office to align OVR with Section 101(1) (A) (iii) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which mandates the Governor of American Samoa as the designated State Agency and authorizes OVR as the designated State Unit providing vocational rehabilitation services to disabled individuals who qualify for VR services.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended:
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a piece of legislation currently contained in a larger bill under Title IV of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended was signed into law by President Richard Nixon, September 23, 1973, and was identified as the first major piece of legislation that levels the playing field for individuals with disabilities to obtain viable employment opportunities by prohibiting discrimination based on their disabilities. Initially the Rehabilitation Act was included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but was removed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and tabled for future consideration. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is federal legislation that authorizes formula grant programs of Vocational Rehabilitation. Supported Employment, Independent Living, and Client Advocacy through the Client Assistant Program, with special emphasis in serving the most significant disabled individuals.
Although the Rehabilitation ACT was not signed into law until 1973, the foundation of vocational rehabilitation services was established as early as 1917 to assist returning disabled veterans from WWI.
Who are our partners?
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation collaborates with a variety of agencies and organizations in order to enhance the services provided to persons with disabilities and employers. These partnerships include:
Ask for: Peka Leo, Falesa Suiaunoa, Meleisha Telefoni, Jessica Mauga, or Fui Kuhlberg
What are we?
The Supported Employment Program assists States in developing and implementing collaborative programs with appropriate entities to provide programs of supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require supported employment services to enter or retain competitive employment. (Authority: 29 U.S.C. 795) Title VI Part B
Ask for Donna Alalamua
What are we?
The American Samoa Assisstive Technology Training Services (ASATTS) is a project funded by the Federal Department of Education designed to develop and implement a Consumer-Responsive Statewide (territorial) System of technology related assistance, for individuals with disabilities.
American Samoa Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) has made a commitment to have 65% – 75% consumer involvement on decision making, planning and implementation in the ASTAS Project.
|Assistive Technology impacts:|
*Ask for Nathaniel Peau
What are we?
Samoa Center for Iindependent Living (SCIL) is a federally funded program established here in American Samoa since 1984. Under the auspices of the Office Vocational Rehabilitation, SCIL provides significantly disabled individuals with an array of services and activities designed to enhance their abilities to live independently as possible. The Older Blind Program is also under the SCIL.
What is Independent Living?
Independent Living is the freedom to choose how and where to live. It means being part of your community by participating in activities of your choice with whomever you choose. Independent Living may be done by you with a roommate or an attendant. It means making decisions about your life activities and being responsible for consequences. Ultimately, it is your right to take risks and to make mistakes like any other person.
What services are provided?
Ask for Esther Solaita, Selina Maiava, Vicky Satele(Older Blind), Johnny Semanu or Fue Moea’i
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