Traumatic Brain Injury - Vocational Rehabilitation
When a person suffering from a traumatic brain injury is considering returning to the workforce the services of a vocational rehabilitation expert should be utilized.
Although there are many challenges related to returning to work, evidence shows that many people can successfully return to work after a brain injury. Using the right guidelines when returning to work following a brain injury can increase the likelihood of success.
In spite of the brain injury, a person that is productive, useful and occupied improves the brain injury they are suffering from.
Considerations when returning to the workplace are:
- Severity of the brain injury.
- Pre-injury and post-injury characteristics including education level, work history and cognitive abilities.
- Complexity of job requirements.
- Environmental factors including workplace and social supports.
When returning to work there are things that can be done to increase a successful return to work including:
- Reduce distractions in the workplace
- Make certain of sufficient lighting
- Reduce clutter
- Limit interruptions
- Divide large assignments into smaller tasks
- Reduce the structure of the job to essential functions
- Make daily to do lists and check them off as they are completed
- Use calendars for meetings and deadlines
- Use electronic organizers
- Schedule meetings with supervisors to check how the work is going
All of these concepts are best accomplished by utilizing vocational rehabilitation. A vocational rehabilitation specialist can:
- Review medical records to ascertain all deficits and difficulties.
- Examine the education level, work history and cognitive abilities of the traumatic brain injury victim.
- Based upon the transferrable skills, interests and cognitive abilities of the brain injury victim look for suitable employment.
- Determine if vocational retraining or further education is necessary.
- Visit the workplace in order to make certain there are safeguards in place to help assure successful employment.
How to obtain vocational rehabilitation services:
- Each state has an agency to help people with disabilities find work.
- If social security disability is being collected the social security administration can help with vocational retraining and work trial programs.
- The Brain Injury Association of America can help with vocational retraining and concepts for the injured victim to return to work.
- Each state has a brain injury association that affiliated with the Brain Injury Association of America that can help.
- If the traumatic brain injury arises out of the workplace then worker's compensation insurance can pay for vocational rehabilitation and retraining.
- If the traumatic brain injury arises out of a personal injury lawsuit then the cost of vocational rehabilitation can be worked into the damages that are being collected by the attorney.