Information for Parents

​Can my child get DORS Services?

Students at least 14 years old and no more than 21, who are in high school or other approved educational program, and who have a documented disability (i.e., are on a IEP or 504 plan), may qualify for Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to prepare them for employment.

Students with disabilities in high school may also be eligible for additional DORS employment services.

Is there a waiting list for DORS services?

If a student qualifies for Pre-Employment Transition Services, there is no waiting list.

However, according to Federal law, students with the most significant disabilities must be served first, therefore some students will be placed on a waiting list for DORS vocational rehabilitation (VR) employment services.

When can my child receive DORS services?

DORS begins to serve students while they are still in high school at age 14 by providing Pre-employment Transition Services. These services prepare students for future employment, training, or college opportunities.

Your child may also request additional individualized DORS VR services so they can move into higher education, vocational training and employment.

DORS transition specialists will collaborate with school personnel, family members and advocates as needed to help identify interests, abilities and goals. The transition specialist may also gather school, medical, and psychological reports to help with establishing eligibility for vocational planning beyond Pre-employment Transition Services.

How can my child be referred to DORS?

School personnel often submits a DORS referral when parental consent is received. You can also complete a DORS online referral yourself, or call your nearest DORS office to complete a referral over the phone. A DORS counselor is assigned to every public high school in Maryland.

Who pays for DORS services?

The DORS transition counselor will discuss the financial need policy with students and families beginning at the initial interview.

There is no payment required for Pre-employment Transition Services as well as services such as career guidance and counseling, assessment and job placement. There is a sliding scale based on family income for most other VR services. Any requirements for financial contributions toward services will be stated in the student’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

To help as many people as possible, and as required by law, DORS counselors help look for other sources of funding for most services. DORS will only pay for services that have been pre-approved and authorized by a DORS official in writing. This means that DORS is not able to reimburse for any goods and services purchased without DORS written approval.

SSI recipients are not required to contribute to the costs of services, unless they choose a more expensive service than would meet their needs.

What documentation will DORS need to enroll my child in services?

  • Your child’s Social Security number
  • Documentation of disability (doctor’s note, IEP, 504 plan, etc.)
  • Documentation confirming your child is in school (I.E.P. or 504 Plan)

Will DORS pay for college or post-secondary education?

DORS may provide financial assistance based on financial need to eligible individuals receiving VR services who have the ability to succeed in college and require post-secondary education to achieve their employment goal.

DORS may only provide financial assistance with higher education after an individual has applied for all other grants and financial aid. The amount of assistance is based on state regulations and DORS policy.

If your child only qualifies to receive Pre-employment Transition Services, DORS may not provide financial assistance for college or post-secondary education at that time.

Talk to your DORS transition specialist for additional information about financial assistance with college.​

Questions? Contact: Jessica Markum
Staff Specialist for Students and Transitioning Youth

a mother and daughter pose at a transition fair.  

The high school student, parents, school personnel, and DORS counselor work as a team to help transition the student from school to employment, post-secondary education or career training. It is this team approach that helps students with disabilities find success and independence after high school.

In Prince Frederick, DORS works with The Arc and Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) to help find jobs for Summer Youth Employment (SYE) program participants. The organizations have worked together for a number of years and have forged successful partnerships with area businesses, including: Calvert County Parks & Recreation, World Gym, Walgreens, Nicks of Calvert, and The SPOT Thrift Shop, among others.

a teenager and 5 adults pose in a high school hallway 

Left to Right: Ron Mould - The Arc, Michelle Wilson - SYE Parent, Paul Wilson - SYE participant, Connie Willoughby - The Arc, & Zakia Lindsey - CCPS​​

Parent Michelle Wilson says the program accomplished an important goal: demonstrating success.

"When you have a child with special needs, it’s so hard... When he was in elementary school I was [so worried]. And now former teachers see him and say to me 'THAT'S your son?' and I say 'Yes! And this summer he had a JOB!' I think this is a great program!"


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