In the state of New Mexico, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are provided with access to in-home, community, and vocational services through allocation to the Developmental Disabilities (or DD) Waiver. However, the waiting list for these services is currently ten to fifteen years long. After high school, individuals on the waiting list are left without access to adult services for years at a time. Among those on the waiting list, 89.9% are unemployed, increasing the likelihood that they will live in poverty. This is often exacerbated by the frequent need for family members to provide unpaid in-home caregiving. Parents, siblings, or other members of the household often have to leave employment in order to ensure the safety of their loved one with a disability.
Through the VAMOS Program, individuals with developmental disabilities (14+ years of age) who are navigating the transition into adult life without the DD Waiver are eligible for an eight-week intensive job training program, hosted in the spring, summer, and fall of each year. VAMOS students participate in life-skills based courses, job fairs, job site tours, benefits counseling, mentoring with employed peers, and complete 40 hours of paid work in customized internships within local nonprofits and businesses.
The VAMOS Program is offered to individuals and their families at no cost, thanks to the New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism, the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, Sandia National Laboratories, the Calvin P. Horn Foundation, the Nusenda Credit Union Foundation, Wells Fargo, and BBVA Compass Bank.
To find out more about receiving services through the VAMOS Program, please complete our letter of interest here: