If you have needed vocational rehabilitation services, or visited our friends at the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, then you are likely familiar with the difficulties people with brain trauma have in finding and sustaining employment.
Because of the unfortunate effects TBIs can have, survivors may be unable to perform jobs they were previously qualified for due to:
- impaired cognitive ability;
- decreased emotional control; and
- problems with speaking or hearing.
“Voc Rehab” services aim to help brain injury survivors, as well as the victims of thousands of other disabilities and injuries, find, prepare for and retain employment in the country’s workforce.
Eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation Services in South Carolina
In our state, eligibility is determined by a team of specialists from the SC Department of Vocational Rehabilitation which looks to see that:
- there is documented proof of the applicant’s mental or physical impairment (this often comes from medical records);
- the applicant can benefit from vocational rehabilitation; and
- the applicant could thrive in a competitive employment environment (with the help of rehabilitation services).
Once brain injury survivors or other persons with disabilities have been deemed eligible for voc rehab, they will be assigned a counselor and a Career Planning and Employment team. Together, they will create an Individualized Plan for Employment. This sets a vocational goal and outlines a specific roadmap to achieving that goal.
A Program To Help You Prepare For Your Return To Work
Voc rehab provides many tools that can help you achieve your career goals. In South Carolina, there is even a program designed specifically for people with brain injuries. As part of this program, a psychologist, occupational therapist, registered nurse, job coach, neuropsychologist, and rehabilitation engineer help people rejoin the workforce.
Participants in the vocational rehab for TBI take part in:
- a comprehensive vocational and psychological assessment;
- physical therapy;
- occupational therapy;
- guidance on nutrition, exercise and fitness;
- a behavioral management plan;
- a vocational plan; and
- individual and group therapy sessions.
Training for the Workplace
Participants receive work training while under the supervision of a professional job coach. During this training, they will learn to perform real-world, work-related tasks that require both physical and mental skills. They can also receive on-the-job training by prospective South Carolina employers.
After work training has been completed, there are still other options available as part of the state’s vocational rehabilitation services, including:
- classes on interviewing;
- job applications and job searching;
- job placement help; and
- supported employment, in which the participant retains a position by working side-by-side with a trained job coach until able to complete duties on their own.
Helping Brain Injury Survivors Throughout South Carolina
If you suffered a brain injury, consider the help voc rehab may be able to provide. Likewise, should you have any questions pertaining to the law, please contact the Law Office of Kenneth Berger at 803-790-2800. Our practice focuses on TBI, and we want you to know that you are not alone.