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October 5, 2023

Disability Hero

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) provides services and advocates for individuals with disabilities to achieve equitable employment and independent living. We support the DOR in implementing workforce development programs for San Diegans living with disabilities. DOR representatives can be found at five of our six career centers located around San Diego County. We spoke with their regional director, Peter Blanco to learn more about how the DOR is promoting a more inclusive workforce in San Diego. 

Can you tell me more about the programs you offer?

We provide services for individuals with disabilities that change based on their needs to secure, retain or regain employment. Our services include but are not limited to: 

  • Referrals and assistance to get services from other agencies
  • Job search and placement assistance
  • Vocational and other training services
  • Evaluation of physical and mental impairments
  • And more!

Interested Individuals can apply for services at 

How else is the DOR impacting the community? 

DOR administers the country’s largest vocational rehabilitation (VR) and independent living programs. VR services are designed to help job seekers with disabilities obtain competitive employment in integrated work settings. Independent living services may include peer support, skill development, systems advocacy, referrals, assistive technology, transition, housing and personal assistance services.

We believe in the talent and potential of individuals with disabilities. We invest in their future through creativity, ingenuity and innovation by ensuring our decisions and actions are informed by interested individuals and groups. We pursue excellence through continuous improvement, which allows us to preserve the public’s trust through compassionate and responsible provision of services.

Any partnership highlights you’d like to share?

We are collaborating with the San Diego Workforce Partnership and MiraCosta College on the Uniquely Abled Project, providing people with autism job training and placement to become computer numerical control operators. 

We are also working with the Workforce Partnership to provide healthcare training programs where individuals with disabilities will be trained and placed in healthcare and behavioral health workforce development programs in positions including substance use counselors, peer support specialists, medical assistants and entry-level healthcare administrators.

What else do you want the community to know about the DOR?

We also continue to develop integrated hiring practices designed to locate candidates with disabilities using the most effective talent pools and we have created several training programs to assist in making business more disability-friendly and accessible. Thanks to long-standing partnerships in the business community, we have created many tools and resources individuals can use to support their business growth. These include disability awareness training, tax incentives and credit information, and a dedicated workforce development staff looking to build strategies for each unique business. The DOR truly wants to help make businesses more integrated and powerful than ever before. Check out our tools or contact us at for more information.

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