Probably every Connecticut resident would agree that life is difficult after suffering a spinal cord injury. Even basic everyday tasks can suddenly become a challenge after this kind of injury. In spite of that, many patients wish to continue working so that they are able to lead an independent life. Due to a number of physical limitations that are associated with a spinal cord injury, it may not be possible for spinal cord injury victims to return to their prior jobs.

Thankfully, there are a number of vocational rehabilitation programs available for patients, which provide the support necessary for attempting to lead a normal life again. These programs help a spinal cord injury patient identify their career interests and skills, acquire additional education and training, if required, and apply for jobs that meet their requirements. The programs also help patients to apply for work accommodations that are tailored to their requirements.

A spinal cord injury patient can seek funding from a number of sources. Some insurance companies cover vocational rehabilitation as part of their policy. There are also state-funded rehabilitation programs, which provide training at no cost. The state’s workers’ compensation programs provide training also for those individuals who were injured while at work. Finally, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is an agency that helps veterans of the armed services with spinal cord injuries through vocational rehabilitation.

Spinal cord injury victims can enroll into these vocational rehabilitation programs once they start to rebuild their confidence and understand that resuming work is critical for self-dependence. The process for enrolling into these programs is fairly simple. First, there is an assessment followed by some real-life tests. After that, the programs help patients identify the areas in which they can find opportunities, set goals, and ultimately pursue them.

Source: MSKTC.org, “Employment after Spinal Cord Injury,” Accessed on Jan. 15, 2015