As part of your spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation, you may turn to vocational rehabilitation when you feel you are ready to return to work. Unlike physical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation helps those with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities identify their skills, obtain appropriate training and education, and apply for and land jobs.
Wondering what you can expect from vocational rehabilitation? Most vocational rehabilitation programs involve the following:
- Assessment: Your vocational rehabilitation counselor will work with you to determine skills and interests in addition to your healthcare needs and physical limitations – even your personality type. This will help in determining if you can return to the same career-field you were in prior to your injury, and, if not, what career-field may be a good fit now. In addition, these assessments will help determine what assistance you will need when land that job.
- Goal-setting: You can expect to work with your vocational rehabilitation counselor to establish goals for the workplace and what you are looking to accomplish. This will help determine the steps needed to accomplish those goals.
- Trials: Once you and your vocational rehabilitation counselor have determined some career-fields that would work best for you based on your needs and skills, your vocational rehabilitation counselor may set-up some trial work opportunities for you. Trial runs allow you and your counselor to evaluate any needs that were not accounted for or discovered during the assessment phase. This will also help determine if this is a right fit for you.
Often times, this type of vocational rehabilitation is funded either by some private insurance companies, federally funded state programs, worker’s compensation programs (if injured on the job), or through the VA hospital if you are a service member.
If you are interested in vocational rehabilitation, your physical rehabilitation program may be able to help you find one or refer you to a vocational rehabilitation program. You can also search online for programs in your area.
Source: sci.washington.edu, Accessed: 9/15/17