Vocational Rehabilitation 100th Anniversary

Vocational Rehabilitation100 Years Later

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first federally funded program to assist people with disabilities who had not acquired their disabilities as a result of serving in the military.

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Fess Act of 1920, also known as the Industrial Rehabilitation Act and referred to as "The National Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act," into law June 2, 1920.

“The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) plays a key leadership role through its resources and technical assistance to state vocational rehabilitation programs and others,” said Mark Schultz, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ (OSERS) RSA commissioner and delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for OSERS. “Those 100 years of experience bring a responsibility of leadership on issues that impact the ability of individuals with disabilities to be employed and live independently.”

RSA will celebrate 100 Years of VR throughout 2020, and this page will house updated anniversary content.


Celebrating a Century of Success

June 2, 2020
2:30–3:30pm EDT

As June 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the VR program, RSA will be paying tribute to this historical occasion by showcasing “Success Stories” of how the VR program helped change the lives of students and adults with disabilities!

Celebrating a Century of Success



 WEBINAR    Innovative Strategies from VR During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Watch RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz, State Directors and staff from five VR agencies and WINTAC discuss Innovative Strategies from VR During the COVID-19 Pandemic. [04/27/2020]
    VIDEO       Re-Release of a Vocational Rehabilitation Anthem
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of VR as well as the 30th anniversary of the ADA, VR stakeholders have re-released a VR song/anthem, "Lead On VR," in both a PODCAST and VIDEO. [04/24/2020]
WEBCAST     Transition Experiences and Success Stories
View a WEBCAST of RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz moderating a panel discussion of transition services experiences and successes. [02/25/2020]
PODCAST     VR Turns 100
Listen to a PODCAST by RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz as he discusses the 100th Anniversary of Vocational Rehabilitation. [01/30/2020]

Twitter icon, click to go to Twitter  Follow @ED_sped_rehab and #VR100Years on Twitter for more vocational rehabilitation information.

Last Modified: 05/20/2020