TWC Debuts New Accessibility Technology for Customers, Providing On-Demand Access to Visual Information

Date: March 28, 2022

Media Contact: Angela Woellner
Phone: 512-463-8556

AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has announced the availability of on-demand visual interpreting services at TWC locations, including Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) offices and the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center, as well as VR co-located Workforce Solutions offices throughout the state. To enhance their everyday experiences and to further support independence, the Aira application allows users to connect with live personal agents who can describe the customer’s surroundings, assist with navigation through the office, locate the VR or Workforce Solutions staff, help read and sign documents, or assist in using equipment such as computers.

TWC continues to leverage technology to expand customers’ access to TWC services,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “We’re pleased to be the first state workforce system in the country to offer this service to our VR customers who visit our offices to improve their employability.”

VR Services supports individuals with physical or mental disabilities in achieving their employment goals. VR Services are designed to help an individual live independently and address employment barriers related to a disability, and support eligible individuals as they prepare for, obtain, retain or advance in employment.

“For individuals who are blind or visually impaired, a visual interpreting service enhances their experience while visiting our offices, making it convenient, engaging and empowering,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “This new service helps our agency in its mission to help every Texas job seeker connect to their next career opportunity.”

VR Services are personalized to an individual’s needs and can include assessments and diagnostics, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and cognitive therapies, among other services. VR Services, a core component of the Texas Workforce System, may also include career-focused education, training, and apprenticeships, job development, paid work experience, among other employment supports.

TWC is proud to expand on our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment in our workforce centers for individuals who are blind or visually impaired,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “We continue to provide creative and innovative solutions for job seekers that will ensure our Texas employers have access to the many talented individuals with disabilities who are more than able and capable of joining our world-class Texas workforce.”

To inquire about services for individuals with disabilities, including those who are blind or visually impaired, use the Start My VR or Older Individuals who are Blind program (VR-OIB) self-referral systems.

VR-OIB services are designed to assist individuals age 55 and older to adjust to the disability of blindness or visual impairment based on their specific needs. These services may include counseling and evaluations about vision loss, information and referral to community resources, assistive technology, diabetes education, or independent living skills training, which may include training in orientation and mobility and daily living skills.

To learn more about Texas Workforce Solutions-VR Services, visit https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/vocational-rehabilitation-services.  

To find out how your business can benefit from hiring individuals with disabilities or to obtain information on employee accommodation, visit https://www.twc.texas.gov/businesses/vocational-rehabilitation-business-relations.

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The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.

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