Welcome to the new AIVRS Program Directors Toolkit

Your First 90 Days

The Directors Toolkit contains helpful hints and resources for AIVRS Directors as they begin their journey into the AIVRS Community. Please cursor over and select any of the main topics below to redirect to the corresponding page.

AIVRTTAC will make updates and corrections to the material in order to ensure legal sufficiency, accuracy of information, and accessibility.

Icon depicts the word Program

This icon is a rectangle with the word TribalIcon depicts the word StateIcon depicts the word FederalIcon depicts the word Resources




AIVRS Projects – A Brief History

  • Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation - A History

Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation began in the 1970’s following successful advocacy at the federal level by the Navajo Nation to obtain funds to develop American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation projects in order to serve tribal people with disabilities.

The Arizona Division of Vocational Rehabilitation awarded the Navajo Nation government a three-year Establishment Grant that required matching funds from the Tribe, to begin serving people with disabilities living on the Navajo Reservation, 1975.

Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 102 required the State Vocational Rehabilitation agency to provide adequate vocational rehabilitation services to American Indian people with disabilities residing in the State, 1978.

The Navajo Nation is the first and only Nation to be awarded an AIVRS grant, 1980-1985.  The Northern Cheyenne and Chippewa-Cree Tribes of Montana were next to be funded and the funding changed from a three-year to a five-year funding cycle with a ten-point preference allocated to existing projects, 1985.

The establishment of fourteen AIVRS by 1993, as well as the forming of the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR), 1993. CANAR is a membership run organization and acts in the capacity of advocacy and change agent for the AIVRS projects.

There are over 567 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Nations, as well as State recognized Nations in the United States. There are currently 88 AIVRS grants serving American Indian and Alaska Natives in the United States, 2017.

Thank you to Marie Parker Strahan and Paula Seanez for their historical data.