Youth in Transition Toolkit
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Open Your Case with DDS RSA

The RSA Youth in Transition Services Unit assists eligible youth and young adults with disabilities, who are attending high school, to achieve their employment goals. Consider applying for services as soon as you begin exploring your options after high school.

Key Questions

  • Do you want to work?
  • Do you have a disability that impacts your ability to work?
  • How does your disability impact your everyday tasks at school and at home?
  • Do you have all of your required documents or do you need help getting them?

Your Choices

Provide consent for RSA to have access to your disability records or bring your records and paperwork to RSA. Ask RSA to help you with any missing evaluations or assessments.


A) Apply to RSA for Services

*If you are under age 18, your parent/guardian will need to sign the application and consent forms.

B) Schedule Your Intake Interview

C) Prepare Documents for Your Intake Interview

Ask your school to assist you in getting these documents. RSA staff can also help you to apply for any missing documents during your intake interview.

D) Participate in Your Intake Interview

You will get out of RSA what you put in.”

Frank Van Atta
Employment Coordinator, DDS RSA

RSA Will Determine Your Eligibility for Services

Whenever possible, we use existing information and assessments to document the existence of your disability and determine your eligibility. You are eligible for services if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have a disability that is a barrier to your employment.
  • You are interested in and committed to preparing for employment.
  • You will benefit from our services in order to meet your employment goal.

Your VR Specialist will determine your eligibility. This can occur:

  • At the end of your intake interview if there is sufficient information.
  • Within 60 days of receipt of your application if further assessment is needed.

We will notify you as soon as we make your eligibility determination. If we are unable to reach you, we will check back with your referral source about how to contact you.

If we determine you are eligible, you will work with a RSA VR Specialist to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment, detailing the supports and services you need to reach your employment goal.

If we determine you are ineligible, you may choose to appeal. The VR Specialist will provide you with information on how to appeal, including informal and formal due process procedures. The VR Specialist will also refer you to other appropriate community programs to address your training or employment-related needs.

Order of Selection

If DCRSA determines that sufficient resources are not available to provide VR services to all eligible persons, the agency will institute an Order of Selection that prioritizes eligible persons based on the significance of disability, at the time of delivery of services. Significance of disability is based on the functional capacities, not on a specific diagnosis or disability. After you have been determined eligible for DCRSA services, your VR Specialist will notify you of your disability priority category.

Priority Categories for Order of Selection

VR Specialists will determine whether the documented disability substantially limits a functional capacity by reviewing and assessing available information provided by you or your family, any assessment ordered by DCRSA if existing documentation is not available, and the professional observation of the VR Specialists.

The VR Specialist assesses functional capacities in the following areas:

  1. Mobility: A substantial limitation in mobility exists if: (i) the person requires assistance from others to get around in the community because of the disability; or (ii) if the individual requires modifications, adaptive technology, or accommodations (not typically made for other workers) to move around the community; or (iii) if the person needs specialized training to learn to move around in the community.
  2. Communication: A substantial limitation in communication exists if (i) the disability results in severely impaired expressive or receptive communication, either oral or written; or (ii) if to communicate effectively, the individual requires modifications or adaptive technology; or (iii) accommodations not typically made for other workers. The individual may not be initially understood by others or may not understand others.
  3. Self-Care: Limitations may affect all or specific tasks and may occur because of physical, cognitive, or emotional impairments. A substantial limitation in self-care exists if the disability results in the individual's dependence on other individuals, services, or devices to manage oneself or one's living environment.
  4. Self-Direction: A substantial limitation in self-direction exists if: (i) due to the disability, the individual is confused or disoriented, or requires assistance or intervention on an ongoing basis; or (ii) intermittently, s/he is unable to perform tasks, monitor his or her own behavior, and make decisions.
  5. Interpersonal Skills: A substantial limitation in interpersonal skills means that because of the disability, the individual has limited or no ability to interact with others in an appropriate manner or is unable to relate to peers or coworkers without exhibiting inappropriate behaviors.
  6. Work Tolerance: A substantial limitation in work tolerance exists when an individual requires modification, adaptive technology, or accommodations (not typically made for other workers) in terms of capacity or endurance.
  7. Work Skills: A substantial limitation in work skills exists when the disability results in an inability to obtain or maintain employment normally available to persons of equivalent age, education, training, or experience.

Next - Step 2 - Explore What You Want To Be

District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
250 E St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Phone: 202-442-8400
TTY: 202-442-8613
Office Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:15 am – 4:45 pm
Web Site:
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