ARS History 

Vocational rehabilitation (V-R) evolved in the United States after World War I with the Soldiers's Rehabilitation Act of 1918. Thousands of American veterans were returning from the battlefields of Europe with severe injuries and permanent disabilities. The country realized that, with rehabilitation services, these individuals could return to productive and successful lives. Public rehabilitation programs for non-veterans began in 1920 with the Smith-Fess Act. The Arkansas General Assembly established Arkansas Rehabilitation Services in 1927.

Today, the V-R program and its sister program at the Veterans Administration serve not only those who have suffered combat injuries but millions of other Americans with disabilities. The vast majority are people who are willing to work and who want to be contributing members of their communities. When given an opportunity, they can make an enormous contribution to society.

This philosophy and the successful history of rehabilitation pays big dividends. More than two-thirds of young adults who receive services successfully enter the work force. Their success significantly reduces the public burden of their being on assistance such as welfare and food stamps. In Arkansas, for every dollar invested in vocational rehabilitation, $6 is returned to the economy.

ACTI also includes an extensive training division which offers 16 vocational programs with more than 20 specialty areas within these programs.

ARS provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to work and lead productive and independent lives.