Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

In 2014, changes to federal vocational rehabilitation law (the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act — WIOA) added pre-employment transition services for disabled students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.

Below is a list of Pre-ETS Frequently Asked Questions


How can a TVI or other school staff member make a referral for MCB Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)?

A student may be referred by a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) or other school staff by telephone or completion of the Pre-Employment Transition Services Visually-Impaired Student Referral form (link below) which may be sent by email or regular mail to any MCB VR counselor or regional office (list below).

Who can receive Pre-ETS services?

  • Visually impaired students aged 14-21 (up to their 22nd birthday) receiving services through an IEP or a Section 504 Plan. Students may be either eligible for MCB vocational rehabilitation services or “potentially eligible”.
  • Students who are “potentially eligible” include individuals who are registered with MCB but who have not applied for MCB vocational rehabilitation services (and who may wish to do so at this time) as well as students with visual impairments who are not registered and whose medical condition and prognosis is undetermined. The federal government wants agencies to provide these limited Pre-ETS services by a referral process service that is “simple, engaging, and not discouraging”.

What types of programs can be provided as Pre-ETS services?

Pre-ETS services are much more limited than the vocational rehabilitation services available to students who have applied for and been found eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. However, a number of different kinds of programs may be provided that address the five areas below:

  • Job exploration counseling;
  • Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after school opportunities, or experience outside the traditional school setting;
  • Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs;
  • Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living;
  • Instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring.

Examples of some recent MCB-funded programs that meet the definition of Pre-ETS are available through MCB. The agency also intends to increase the Pre-ETS options for students and welcomes ideas from TVI’s and school systems.

What services can “potentially eligible” students receive?

Potentially eligible students may only receive services that address the five areas listed above. Students who have applied for and been found eligible for vocational rehabilitation may receive the full range of vocational rehabilitation services including services such as college or other vocational training, assistive technology, and job placement.

Can a student sign up for a Pre-ETS program before contacting MCB?

No, state law requires that MCB only fund services that have been authorized in writing by the agency before that program begins. So, it is important to refer the student to MCB well in advance of the beginning of the program.

What MCB services can younger children receive?

Children younger than age 14 are eligible for MCB Children’s Services. The funding for these services is much more limited and may be dependent on financial need. These services are also provided based on the availability of funds at any given time.

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