Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Institute

What is the purpose of the Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Institute?

Northwest Indian College (NWIC), in partnership with Western Washington University (WWU), was awarded a five-year grant on October 1, 2015 through the Capacity Building Program for Traditionally Underserved Populations under section 21(b)(2)(C) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C 718(b)(2)(c)) (Rehabilitation Act). The purpose is to establish a new institute to meet the vocational rehabilitation (VR) training needs in American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) programs. The NWIC partnership created the Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation (TVR) Institute to implement the training.

Who can benefit from participating in the Institute?

The TVR Institute has developed a structured program of training for AIVRS project personnel with limited knowledge or experience in the VR field in order to improve the delivery of VR services to American Indians with disabilities. The training focuses on foundational VR knowledge and skills and the courses can be taken for college credit or CEU credit. By taking all 7 courses for college credit, participants will earn an Award of Completion in Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Studies through NWIC. The Award of Completion can be used to seek employment in the TVR field or participants can choose to continue to pursue college education and possibly transfer the courses into a bachelor’s degree program. Institute staff can help advise participants who are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree.  

Visit the TVR Institute Website




TVR is Offering Classes!

The TVR Institute is delivering this training primarily through distance education with scheduled weekly teleconference sessions. Some courses may have a face-to-face component for those students who are able to attend. The courses are taught by TVR professionals with years of experience in Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation. The Institute maintains regular contact with participants before and during the program and is committed to the success of all students. The Institute will provide follow-up technical assistance for those who complete the series of courses to ensure effective application of knowledge and skills gained through the training.  

What are the 7 courses?

  • TVRS 301: History

Provides an overview of TVR, including the history, the relationship between state VR agencies and TVR agencies, and the role of TVR counselors in partnering with and serving individuals with disabilities. Introduces various types of disabilities and methods for testing functionalities related to independence and levels of employability. Note: This course is a prerequisite or co-requisite for all other courses.

  • TVRS 302: Communication

Introduces the VR program as an investment in people and how TVR staff must communicate in ways that show respect at all points in the process, including communicating applicant and client rights, eligibility determination, informed choice, and confidentiality. Includes an overview of strategies for communicating with the TVR agency’s governing body.

  • TVRS 303: Assessment and Eligibility

Provides an overview of the process of gathering essential information to determine TVR eligibility, including confidentiality guidelines, factors used in determining eligibility, the six essential eligibility criteria, the closure procedures for those not meeting eligibility, and the transition between eligibility and the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

  • TVRS 304: IPE Development

Presents the process for the qualified individual to develop an IPE, including informed choice, methods for establishing the targeted employment outcome, and using amendments. Introduces strategies for case management. 

  • TVRS 305: Case Record and Management

Presents the requirements for case record documentation, case records retention, and effective ways to organize case records. Introduces the concept and importance of the team approach in agencies to ensure that client needs are addressed and that case organization and team management produces higher-quality client employment outcomes. 

  • TVRS 306: Job Search and Employment

Presents the definition of employment used in VR. Introduces concepts such as trial work experiences, the role of employers, the use of Community Rehabilitation Programs in work-related assessments and focused training, and post-employment services. Provides an overview of approaches and techniques for job-seeking skills, including using online employment resources.

  • TVRS 307: Resource Management

Presents the TVR agency management system from a counselor perspective, including planning and using a budget, collecting caseload data, and performance reporting. Also covers building partnerships with other Tribal departments, local agencies, and employers to provide holistic services and to diversify client service funding sources.