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In an average year, around 2.8 million people suffer injuries while at work in the private sector alone.
Sometimes, these incidences result in permanent disabilities. This may have serious consequences for both the employee and employer.
Are you one of these unfortunates who know find themselves unable to work as before? Are you a business owner who’d like to help one of your employees get back on their feet after an injury?
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of vocational rehabilitation and what it can do for you.
What Is Vocational Rehabilitation?
While physical rehabilitation goes a long way toward helping you recover from an injury faster. Yet, it’s not always enough to ensure you can return to your previous occupation.
Sometimes the disabilities resulting from an injury cause damage that prevents you from doing your previous job. For example, if you were once employed as a tradesperson and you can’t use your hands any longer.
In these cases, if your employer can’t find something else for you to do in their business, you may end up unemployed. This is a devastating blow for anyone, but a vocational rehabilitation program could help you find gainful employment again.
These therapies help to retrain disabled people so they can enter the workforce in a different capacity.
The United States Department of Education funds vocational rehabilitation agencies in every state to assist these individuals. These agencies serve people with any kind of disability. They aim to help them meet their individual employment goals and fulfill their potential.
How Does Vocational Rehab Work?
The injured or disabled person works with a vocational rehabilitation case manager. Together, they compile a rehabilitation plan for their development. This document outlines the criteria and resources needed to help the person achieve their employment or independent living goals.
Usually, this plan involves one of the following aims:
- Re-employment with their previous employer
- Job placement services in new employment
- Self-employment options
- Employment via long-term services like college, training, or OJT
- Independent living services
To achieve these goals, vocational rehab provides a range of useful support services for disabled people. These include:
- Skills testing and analysis
- Job site assessment
- Assistive technology and devices
- vocational evaluation and counseling
- Assistance with compiling resumes
- Guidance when completing employment applications
VR agencies also help with job training, education, and job placement. Thanks to vocational rehabilitation services software that helps streamline the treatment process; more people than ever before can benefit from these programs.
The Role of the Employer in VR
Employers should take note of which of their workers could do with a little help. Then they can help accommodate them within their organization as long as possible.
An employee might benefit from vocational rehab services in the following instances:
- A recent injury either on the job or outside of work
- Frequent absenteeism or low productivity due to ongoing illness or pain
- A recent surgery
It’s an employer’s duty to work closely with vocational rehab services to find or facilitate work for the employee within their organization. In this way, vocational rehabilitation can benefit employers, employees, and the economy.
Benefits of Vocational Rehabilitation
One of the most important vocational rehab benefits is keeping people gainfully employed, motivated, and engaged in worthwhile activities.
When you suddenly find yourself unable to continue with a job you’ve been doing all your life, it’s difficult to see a way out of your predicament. With vocational rehab, employees can pursue gainful employment much faster than if they’re left to their own devices.
It’s never too late to learn something new, and vocation rehab allows you to explore new career paths you may never have considered.
New careers in the field of technology come to light almost every month and assistive technologies are advancing rapidly. This means there are more opportunities available to physically disabled people than ever before.
Vocational rehab can help you return to college and complete your studies. You could also embark on a new course according to your interests and abilities.
If you agree to work for a public program for several years, you could get a rehabilitation scholarship. These pay for your studies toward a four-year degree.
They could also help you set up a business plan and conduct market research if you want to start your own small business.
Some of the other perks offered to those enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation program include:
- Potential financial assistance while engaged in the program
- Interpreters for deaf people
- Reader services for those with vision impairments
- Personal assistants to help manage certain disabilities
- Technology training and relevant devices
With a little luck and hard work, you might just end up in a lucrative new career that you enjoy even more than your old job.
Benefits of Vocation Rehab for Employers
If you’re an employer, you can also benefit from engaging your employees in this worthwhile program.
For starters, you don’t have to go to all the trouble of finding and vetting new, trustworthy employees to replace the ones you’ve lost to disability. This means you’ll save on the costs and time involved in this procedure as well as limit your risks.
You also stand to gain from:
- reduced absenteeism
- fewer litigation expenses
- reduced sick pay costs
- lower insurance premiums
You might incur expenses for training, physical therapy, and assistive technology for your worker. Yet, these pale in comparison with the long-term benefits.
You’ll also enjoy an improved corporate image, better productivity, and enhanced employee morale.
Knowledge is Power
Today, thousands of people find themselves better off thanks to the benefits of vocational rehabilitation. They’re now engaged in fulfilling careers against all odds.
Others have managed to start their own small businesses and thrive in a totally different field from where they started.
If you’d like to broaden your horizons with more details about interesting and relevant topics, keep browsing our blog for more information on health and lifestyle matters.