League School’s PAC hosts an Informative MRC Workshop

Last week, League School of Greater Boston’s Parent Advisory Council hosted “The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC): An Introduction to MRC and an Overview of Post-22 Programs and Services” with guest speaker Adam Garber, M.Ed.

MRC is a state agency funded through federal dollars as indicated in the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act, said Mr. Garber, who works in the Vocational Rehab division of MRC. Vocational Rehabilitation Division is one of four areas that the MRC is responsible for. The other divisions are Community Services, eligibility determination for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefits program. MRC promote equality, empowerment and independence of individuals with disabilities, according to their website.

“We are outcome-oriented,” said Mr. Garber. ”Our clients need to go through an application process to qualify for our assistance .We encourage clients to participate in our program at least two years before they graduate from high school so that we can become familiar with them and they can become acclimated to what is out there for them,” added Mr. Garber. “Only certain employable candidates will qualify,” said Mr. Garber.

One of the parents attending the workshop asked why an employer should hire a person with a disability over one who doesn’t have one – the answer was quite revealing. Mr. Garber said disabled employees stay longer in the jobs, employers receive some tax advantages, and MRC does provide job coaching for clients early in their job assignments that can save employers the cost of training. “Our clients are equally productive and we will pay partial salaries for the first six weeks,” added Mr. Garber, who has worked for MRC for over 17 years. When an employee stays longer in a position, the employer saves on fixed cost of training new employees.

MRC provide some job placements, assist with resume preparation, interviewing skills, develop job leads, advocate for the employee/client and actually help match people in the right position based on the talents they possess, according to Mr. Garber. “We will follow our clients for 90 days after they are hired as well.” MRC will partner with other agencies in a collaborative fashion to assist people who are post 22 in age or even ones who seek positions before that cutoff.

Potential employees/clients can receive training at any state community college or state university to prepare for a career and the state will pick up the tuition cost, added Mr. Garber.

This workshop is part of a series of workshops the school and parent advisory council offers on a monthly basis, according to Patrick Fuller, vice principal of the League School.

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