USOR 100: Celebrating a Century of Vocational Rehabilitation and Services to People with Disabilities


2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Utah State office of Rehabilitation (USOR). Utah has regularly led the nation in providing services for people with disabilities and holds the distinction of starting one of the first vocational rehabilitation programs in the country.

Vocational rehabilitation programs got their start in 1920 with the passage of the Smith-Fess Act (also known as the Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act) that established the Vocational Rehabilitation program for Americans with disabilities.

Utah and five other states set up a vocational rehabilitation program the following year in 1921. In the first two years of vocational rehabilitation in Utah, 50 residents with disabilities were successfully employed. Of those initial 50, 15 participants were blind and two who were deaf. more