REINTEGRATING BACK TO THE WORKPLACE
Most survivors of brain injuries see employment as a big milestone in their recovery and as a means to independence, self-worth, and community reintegration. However, finding and maintaining employment is a big, long-term challenge for them. Their challenges are often invisible (e.g., thinking or memory); therefore, many survivors are easily misunderstood and their abilities are either overestimated or underestimated by employers. In fact, because of their impaired cognition, survivors often have a hard time recognizing their own capabilities and challenges. It requires great effort for survivors to discover their true capabilities and find and maintain suitable employment. Brain Injury Services’ vocational specialists help our clients through this process as they reintegrate back into the workplace through supported employment and volunteer placement services.
1.) SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
With increased needs and the complexity of their return to work issues, the BIS Supported Employment Program was developed to help survivors of brain injury in achieving their suitable employment goals. The program provides individualized employment services for survivors of brain injury using the Supported Employment model. Each survivor works one-on-one with a BIS employment specialist, who will assist him/her with suitable employment goal setting, job assessment, job searches, on-site job training, follow-along support, and job retention. The BIS Supported Employment Program is a part of Brain Injury Services; however the program works in collaboration with the Virginia State Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and accepts referrals from DARS.
2.) VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT PROGRAM
The volunteer placement program enables BIS clients to work with the vocational specialist to assess their interests and to find a suitable volunteer job in the community. The specialist may assist with interviewing and any accommodations as the client adjusts to the position. The volunteer specialist maintains communication with the client, volunteer site, and case manager, as needed. The goal is to place all interested clients in fulfilling volunteer jobs in order to maintain a productive focus and to give back to their communities. Often this is a bridge to returning to paid employment.
Must be a current client at Brain Injury Services receiving Case Management Services.
A Brain Injury Services Case Manager or a DARS Counselor can make a referral to the Vocational Program for a client.