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Anyone heard of DARS (disability assistance and rehabilitative services)(sorry long)

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by Tena, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. Tena

    Tena Approved members

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    Also posted in Parents OT section.

    Well we had never heard of them either until a few weeks ago. We live in Texas and this is a Texas Dept. so if you live in another state I don't know what your equivalent would be.

    Be Patient with me, this is kind of a long story, but I really wanted to share with everyone here.

    Emily graduated from high school (homeschool, that is another story, LOL) a year early. We went to register her at a local community college and when we asked about her testing in class, eating, etc. they sent us to a disability counselor. She had no problem writing a letter to all of her instructors letting them know everything that Emily would need. Testing in class, eating and/or treating lows, bathroom breaks, even alternate testing dates if her bgs were not cooperating.

    Then she asked us if we had been to DARS (full name in Title). We told her we hadn't heard of it, so she said we ought to go see them as they might would help offset some of Em's expenses. She said they might would help pay for books or something. Well, considering that Emily didn't qualify for any financial aid except for loans we thought it wouldn't hurt to go see them.

    Well we met with the DARS counselor and he told us he wasn't sure if Diabetes was considered a disability or not, but he took all of our info and what her specific needs were (as far as diabetes is concerned) and he also took income info. He told us to call back in a cple of weeks and he would tell us what they decided.

    After 2 weeks, we called and he set us up an appt to see him. When we went in, he just started telling us all the things he needed from the college and we were like, "wait" what are you trying to tell us. He said, we are paying for EVERYTHING, her tuition, books, plus giving her a weekly allowance for gas and supplies. This all takes place for the ENTIRE 4 years of college and the allowance lasts until she has gotten her degree and has gotten a job and held the job for 90 days.

    We were dumbfounded! I could not believe it. I was crying, Em was too. I didn't know what to say but "thank you" and he was like, NO big deal. I told him, "you don't understand, this is a very big deal."

    Now not only do we not have to worry about college expenses, along w/ D expenses, but to be on this program she has to remain a full time student every semester until she is done, so that takes some of the worry about her being on our insurance too.

    All I can say is God is So Good. I believe He went before us and took care of us. As far as I know, they have never done this for a diabetic before.

    Anyway I just wanted to let you guys know, maybe there is something in your area that does the same thing.

    Tena

    editing to clarify: This place is for helping people with disabilities find employment that they can do with their disabililty. Even if you become disabled they will help you get retrained to something you can do with your disability. (I don't know if this makes sense, hard to explain). They are helping Emily so she can get a good job where "she" can maintain her diabetes at the same time (does that make sense)
     
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Thank you for sharing that information. Is there a DARS office on the college campus, or is it separate? This is so helpful for people in Texas.
     
  3. Tena

    Tena Approved members

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    It is a separate office from the college.
     
  4. joy orz

    joy orz Approved members

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    I worked as a job developer in Massachusetts before I left my job. I forgot about the connection. In Massachusetts it is called MRC. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.

    Every state has one. It is a state agency that focuses on helping people with disabilities enter or remain in the workforce. Not all states will pay for school, but many will. I never had anyone with diabetes on my caseload, most were people with physical or developmental disabilities... but hey, it's certainly worth going onto your state's website and looking up rehabilitation or disability and have a meeting with a counselor to see what they say.

    Thanks for posting. That is such wonderful news!
     

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