2013-2018 Strategic Plan

Kristen, Arielle, and Hector

Department of Rehabilitation Logo - Employment, Independence, and Equality

for all Californians with Disabilities

2013-2018 Strategic Plan

Magdy, Cory, and Melanie


Message from the Director


Anthony (Tony) P. Sauer Official Photo

In the 1960s the disability rights' movement gained the momentum needed to secure equal opportunities and equal rights for people with disabilities. The specific goals and demands of the movement were accessibility and safety in transportation and the physical environment; equal opportunities in independent living, employment, education, and housing; and freedom from abuse, neglect, and violations of patients' rights.

By the stroke of Governor Pat Brown's pen in 1963, the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) was established to provide programs and services to help persons with disabilities to be more active participants in their community and enjoy a better quality of life. Fifty years later, DOR is the largest vocational rehabilitation program in the country and continues to actively advocate for and support the goals of the disability movement.

In 2012 an enterprise team was commissioned to work with stakeholders and employees to develop the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. It is a plan that utilizes innovative approaches to support DOR's longstanding efforts. The following goals, objectives, and strategies are designed to make steady progress, building on the hopes and dreams of those who, in the past, only imagined going to work, living on their own, and being regarded as contributing members of society.

The Strategic Plan details our efforts to modernize our vocational rehabilitation services delivery system and to continue our relentless advocacy for independence, access, and community living. It also reflects our commitment to improving our consumers' programmatic experience by investing in developing and retaining a well-qualified, diverse workforce.

Ours is a wide-reaching vision, and success will depend upon strong partnerships and a shared commitment to assist people with disabilities. Working together, the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan will serve as a roadmap to enable us to reach our goals to provide improved services and advocacy resulting in employment, independence and equality for individuals with disabilities.


Tony Sauer


Special Thanks

The California Department of Rehabilitation gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of everyone who contributed to the development of our Strategic Plan: Steering Committee members, DOR employees, advisory bodies, and external stakeholders. The DOR would like to extend a special thank you to the following contributors for their efforts to coordinate the writing and editing of the Strategic Plan:

  • Melyssa Adams
  • Carol Asch
  • Jennifer Benson
  • Regina Cademarti
  • Suzanne Chan
  • Ardria Climons
  • Bryan Correa
  • Michelle Davis
  • Adoracion De Guzman
  • Tom Dempsey
  • Steve Ekstrom
  • Cindy Escott
  • Lana Fraser
  • Irene Garavito
  • Elena Gomez
  • Gregory Hernandez
  • Carol Hyland
  • Katrina Inman
  • Scott Jaeger
  • Douglas Kidder
  • June Kuehn
  • Juney Lee
  • Leslie Mosley
  • Pat Santillanes
  • Regina Scott
  • Christine Stark
  • Velvatine Sykes

We look forward to working with our advisory bodies to fulfill the goals of our Strategic Plan.

  • California Assistive Technology Advisory Committee
  • California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities
  • California Vendor Policy Committee
  • Cooperative Program Advisory Committee
  • DOR Blind Advisory Committee
  • DOR Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee
  • DOR Disability Advisory Committee
  • Independent Living Centers
  • State Independent Living Council
  • State Rehabilitation Council
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Providers



Employment, Independence, and Equality for all Californians with Disabilities



The California Department of Rehabilitation works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living and equality for individuals with disabilities.


Our Core Values

The values under which we operate all of our programs and services:


Strive to meet stakeholders' needs through continuous improvement, competence, creativity, and teamwork.


Be sensitive to the diverse needs of others, both internal and external stakeholders, by being courteous, compassionate, responsive, and professional.


In all endeavors, act in an ethical, honest, and professional manner.


Be willing to listen and share information with others. Be flexible, inclusive, trusting, and receptive to new ideas.


Take ownership and responsibility for actions and their results.


Goal 1 Employment, Independence, and Equality

Maximize employment opportunities, independence and self-sufficiency, resulting in a higher quality of life for Californians with disabilities.



  1. Increase the number of individuals with significant disabilities served by DOR who become successfully employed, from 11,187 in FFY 2012 to 15,000 or more by 2018.

  2. Increase the average hourly earnings for all DOR consumers annually from the FFY 2012 level of $12.11.

  3. Increase the percentage of individuals with disabilities who report they are more self-sufficient and independent as a result of receiving DOR and/or community based services.



Improve vocational rehabilitation service delivery by:

  • Utilizing a team approach for consumer-centered service provision and providing team members with resources to improve employment outcomes.

  • Partnering with community service providers to develop a variety of innovative approaches to deliver consumer services that ensure quality outcomes.

Provide employers with information and resources to hire qualified individuals with disabilities by:

  • Conducting a statewide disability awareness campaign directed towards employers and people with disabilities.

  • Seeking opportunities to promote employer and business engagement to encourage hiring of people with disabilities.




Goal 2 Equal Access

Promote equal access for Californians with disabilities.



  1. Improve the integration of individuals with disabilities within their living and working communities.

  2. Provide educational resources to improve access to businesses, information, technology, transportation, and housing.



  • Collaborate with community partners serving or representing individuals of diverse backgrounds.

  • Champion the provision and access to reasonable accommodation services to influence how public and private entities can better meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

  • In conjunction with the California Commission on Disability Access, develop and disseminate educational materials and information to public and private entities to promote and facilitate disability access.




Goal 3 Customer Focused Services

Provide effective customer-focused services to consumers, partners, employers, and employees.


  1. Attract, develop, and retain a qualified and culturally competent workforce.

  2. Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of DOR business processes.

  3. Increase the percentage of consumers indicating overall satisfaction with DOR services.



  • Continuously apply input from stakeholders to effectively measure and improve satisfaction with DOR services.

  • Complete enhancements to the electronic record system to improve the accessibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of the services provided to consumers, community partners, and employees.

  • Develop a comprehensive, organization-wide communications plan.

  • Develop leadership, succession planning and career opportunity programs for DOR staff.






Department of Rehabilitation
721 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 324-1313