DHS's Division of Rehabilitation Services is the state's lead agency serving individuals with disabilities. DRS works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.
Improving the independence of our customers is our only reason for existing. We realize that the skills and abilities of our front-line staff are the keys to our success. Embracing, listening to and collaborating with our community partners will sustain our success.
DRS will be a customer-driven organization, with all major decisions based on the needs of our customers. Our staff will be informed and valued, pursuing lifelong learning and striving to improve their professional skills. We will create an environment where customers and staff work in partnership, where customers enjoy working with staff, and staff look forward to coming to work. Finally, we envision an agency where customers feel confident that their goals will be reached.
- Goal: Provide services that will enable DRS customers to achieve the highest level of independence
- Key indicators: The number of persons moved out of nursing homes, the number of persons prevented from nursing home placement, the number of persons successfully completing independent living training and the number of persons receiving services through independent living centers.
- Goal: Achieve a high level of productivity by efficiently serving eligible customers and helping them attain successful outcomes
- Key indicators: The number of persons employed in competitive jobs, the number of students entering employment after leaving high school, and a composite index that measures the productivity of VR counselors.
- Goal: Increase the quality of jobs obtained by VR program customers
- Key indicators: The average hourly wage earned and average hours worked per week by customers who become employed through the VR program, as well as the percentage of those workers who receive medical insurance from their employers.
- Goal: Continually improve the quality of services provided by DRS in all program areas
- Key indicators: A quality assurance index, the percentage of VR cases meeting RSA timeliness requirements, and the percentage of HSP cases with timely redeterminations.
Customer and Staff Experience
- Goal: Create a work environment that results in a positive experience for customers and staff.
- Key indicators: Survey measures of customer, employer and provider satisfaction, as well as a staff morale survey.
DRS includes four major bureaus: Bureau of Field Services, Bureau of Blind Services, Bureau of Home Services, and Bureau of Disability Determination Services.
- Bureau of Field Services assists individuals with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining quality competitive employment. Services include evaluation, guidance and counseling, education, training, physical and mental restoration, assistive devices, job development, job placement, and post-employment services.
- Bureau of Blind Services helps adults who are blind or visually impaired rediscover their independence and achieve their employment, education, training, and independent living goals. Services include: specialized vocational rehabilitation services; a short-term residential program for adults who are newly blind or visually impaired; independent living services for older individuals who are blind, and the Illinois Business Enterprise Program for the Blind.
- Bureau of Home Services provides a wide range of services to individuals with the most significant disabilities to enable them to remain in their homes and live as independently as possible. Services also include specialized services for people with HIV/AIDS or brain injuries.
- Bureau of Disability Determination Services determines the eligibility of people to receive benefits under Social Security's disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In addition, DRS includes:
- Client Assistance Program
- Services for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Services for Persons with Disabilities who are Hispanic/Latino
- Independent Living
- Educational Services
- Administrative Support services
How to Contact DRS
Use the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral to refer yourself or someone else for services.
DRS staff provide services to people with disabilities in 48 local offices located in communities throughout the state. Use the DHS Office Locator and search for Rehabilitation Services to find the nearest local office or call toll-free: (800) 843-6154 (Voice, English or Español) or (800) 447-6404 (TTY).
For general questions about DRS, email DHS.DRS@illinois.gov.