For individuals with disease or spinal cord injury (SCI), maintaining employment or returning to work can mean greater independence, enhanced personal and professional satisfaction, and improved quality of life. Despite advances in rehabilitative care, employment rates for people with disabilities remain extremely low. Kessler’s Resource Facilitation Program seeks to improve employment outcomes for this population.
Early vocational resource facilitation services begin during the individual’s inpatient stay to help ensure full integration into school or employment post-discharge. Resource Facilitation involves a unique partnership between the individual with disease or SCI, their families and caregivers, and the Kessler interdisciplinary team. The Kessler interdisciplinary team includes counselors from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, job coaches and follow-up support services, benefits specialists, and peer mentors. Mary Lea West, Vocational Resource Facilitator at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, helped lead the program, assisting more than 50 individuals with SCI reach their employment goals.
Stay at Work/Return to Work Podcast Series
These are the inspirational stories of individuals with SCI who have participated in the Resource Facilitation Program and successfully returned to work – whether in a previous position or a new one. In sharing these stories, we aim to keep hope alive and remind those in similar situations that every day brings with it new possibilities.