According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate as of September 2011 for people with disabilities was 16.1%, almost twice the rate of people without disabilities. To promote awareness of the skills and contributions of American workers with disabilities, the month of October has been designated by Congress as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
“NeuroRestorative is committed to ensuring that people with brain and spinal cord injuries, and other neurological challenges receive the support and training they need to reach their employment goals,” said Bill Duffy, Chief Operating Officer of NeuroRestorative.
NeuroRestorative offers opportunities for participants throughout the country to develop the skills needed to successfully integrate back into the workforce as contributing members of the community. Through NeuroRestorative onsite programs as well as through affiliations with local organizations such as churches, soup kitchens and the humane society, NeuroRestorative offers participants a range of ways to hone in on their skills and interests while gaining real world experience through work and volunteer opportunities in the community.
The Alternative Work Center (AWC) at NeuroRestorative Carbondale features a woodshop where participants learn to craft unique pieces of furniture and home décor.
“Our mission is to provide participants with the opportunity to experience personal growth and develop confidence through work and social interactions,” said Sam DiGregor, Supervisor of Vocational Services at NeuroRestorative Carbondale.
NeuroRestorative Florida’s work crew program in Tampa is designed to closely resemble a real world work experience. Participants must apply and interview for positions on the landscaping and maintenance crews, and must adhere to work schedules, report to a supervisor and receive weekly paychecks.
“The thing I’ve learned about being on the work crew is that I’m able to multitask despite environmental or personal factors,” said Erin, a participant in NeuroRestorative Florida’s work crew. “I’ve learned to work on my time management skills so I can get everything done in a timely manner and I’ve learned to work with others as part of a team and as a team leader.”
At NeuroRestorative New Jersey’s Café Plus, a working coffee shop open to the public, participants work in a professional environment, allowing them to fine-tune their skills and prepare for re-entry to the workforce.
Participants of NeuroRestorative Virginia have the rewarding opportunity to work for SUNRNR of Virginia, a local manufacturer of zero-emission, portable generators run by renewable energy, an experience that not only allows them to contribute positively to the environment, but to their own vocational skills.
NeuroRestorative Kentucky has a workshop and a recycling program, in addition to a snack shack for program participants in which workers are responsible for taking inventory, ordering products and interacting with customers.
“We strive to offer participants opportunities to participate in meaningful activities,” said Nick Cioe, Clinical Program Manager for NeuroRestorative Kentucky’s Paducah location. “Working is something that is culturally important in that it helps define who we are as contributing members of the community, something that does not change when a person has a disability.”
Contact us for information on the opportunities for vocational skill development we offer at specific NeuroRestorative locations.
For more information on NDEAM, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.