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Thread: Vocational rehab stories

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cali View Post
    i want to punch my voc rehab representative in the face. and she thinks i'm not physically capable of doing it. when she first met me my mom had to hold my hand around the pen to put an x on the papers to sign, then some months later, she came to my house and i was on the couch with a blanket. she asked me "shouldn't you be in school?" i said "i graduated, my mom's in the kitchen." then my mom led her right back to me and she seemed embarrassed and surprised. don't want to look crippled? getchyerself a blanket and a couch; no one will be the wiser.

    so then came school, and i had to stay in bed the day she came because i had a welt on my butt from my shower chair, so that didn't help matters. at the time i wanted to go to school for biology to teach and told her flat out i enjoy the subject, but i'm terrible at math. she said "you do realize you need a 3.0 to be a teacher and that's very hard to do." i said "well i'm not an idiot, i know i can easily get a 3.0 even with bad math skills." she continued to tell me that she wanted to go to school to be a vet and an instructor taled her out of it because the GPA was hard to achieve and plus, as a biology teacher, there's no way i could get into a swamp to gather water samples for my class.

    who the hell does that!? i never studied scummy water under a microscope and everything that we did inspect was bought. people do this stuff for you!

    so she kept trying to get me to go for business because i'd only qualify for a desk job and even that would be hard for me. you guys know me, i don't say no to challenges and this lady was really pissing me off. i said to her if i wanted to go for business, i would, but i didn't want to. she was taking her failure in college and applying it to me by telling me what i can't do. i tried to apply for an fes bike through voc rehab and she was telling me it'll be hard for me to use the bike, which i used for 3 months in a trial. i told her she was wrong and i knew exactly what and how to do it and by myself. she still gave me trouble about it. what a pessimist! well i got so mad i started crying. this lady always pissed me off to that point because she was holding MY cards and telling me no to everything when she doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground about me, my condition, or what i can or can't do. apparently all i'm able to do is sit, eat, breathe, and mess myself. i ripped her a new one when i tried to explain to her that she and i don't agree on my abilities and never have and she insisted that we did and i don't know what i'm talking about.

    i snapped and was crying at the same time. i sent the papers for the fes bike the same day i told her i wanted off the voc rehab because she's a pessimistic bitch and i'll be damned i take her shit. 2 days later she called all facinated by the research papers for the fes bike and wanted me to reconsider dropping their "services". i quote services because all she served me was a big heaping sack of "you can't" accompanied by puppy dog eyes. i said no, i want off because i'm not dealing with you, you are the reason i'm not doing this and i never want to talk with you again. she tried to say that she could work hard to get me the bike but no promises, but by then i was so pissed off with the whole thing i didn't care.

    i wanted a different representative but i couldn't because she was what i was given and she represents my county unfortunately. they never did anything but try to drag me down.
    Are you currently employed?

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Harriet View Post
    I could write a BOOK on the councelor my son had after his injury. In fact we sent a 5 page letter to the State about how pathetic she was. My opinion on what a good councelor should be is one that explains all services that may be available and guides you through the process. This worthless puke of a councelor was a ROADBLOCK. We knew other states paid for vehicle modifications, but the pamphlet she gave my son was so broad, it was unclear whether our state did or not. It turns out they do. It took 2 years to get his truck modified. His councelor's solution was to take the bus. What bus? The one two miles from our house, pushing in high temperature plus high humidity. Obviously, she knew nothing about spinal cord injuries - but then that would have taken effort and concern about her "clients". At the time my son was dealing with her, she worked with the mentally and physically disabled. My son was her only "client" without a mental disability - which explains how easy it was to BS these people and do nothing. She is now working with the deaf and blind.
    God help these people, because she WILL NOT !!!
    Is your son still in school? Have you talked to your state's client assistance program?

  3. #13
    Is there anyone here who actually had a good experience?
    Sure. They paid for my all college expenses and even gave me gas money the 2nd year. Other than that, they stayed out of my way.

    Joe

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    I had a bad experience, but some of it is my fault.

    Although I turned the paperwork in on time every term, they never had the money for my books when it was time to buy books. Luckily I worked at the bookstore and could charge them on my employee account until the VR check came in. Their payment was usually a month or so late, which would have a been a disaster if I didn't have another way to pay for them, I was on the quarter system and quarters aren't very long!

    The "biggest bad" was quite different, and more personal. My counselor talked me out of my "dream career" because she thought grad school would be difficult to get accepted to. I didn't want to listen to her when she suggested changing my major, but when she threatened to pull my funding, I went ahead and switched and scrambled together a Psychology degree (I was pre-physical therapy).
    I was not a good enough self-advocate at the time to stand up to her, or to figure out a different way to do things. I really regret that, as I continue to find a job I really love I am sad that I didn't follow my dream. I consider going to school to be an OT (or an OTA), but it's a big step, and my last pursuit at grad school didn't go well (mostly because of my health). I was injured at 18, had wanted to be a PT since I was 13.

    There was definitely a lack of education about what benefits might be available to me, how I would go about getting them, etc. At one point she did give me the "red book" for social security, which is dense and confusing to a 19 year old!

    It seems that some of the positive cases come from those who have better rehab programs, they are a bit more informed about what types of benefits are available, and often seem to have assistance in getting them.

  5. #15
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    East Haven, CT
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    I had one good experience and one bad one. The good one is that when my fiance and I moved to our condo, they came out and did the modifications needed in order to "allow me to continue to be employed". That included building our ramp, changing out the sliding closet doors to bi-folding doors, removing a cabinet in my kitchen so I could roll right up and prepare meals, and totally gutting our bathroom and making a roll in shower, a sink that you could roll right up to, etc. This cost the state about $17,000 and all I needed to promise was that I would live in this condo for 2 years once all the work was completed.

    My bad experience had to do with getting hand controls in my car (and this was about 4 years before the condo experience). The counselor was all gung-ho about helping me with the controls...until they found out my car had just achieved the 100,000 mile mark. Even though it was in great shape and had regular maitenance done on it, they did not want to install the controls because "it was too old". They forced me to get a new car (just what I needed...a car payment)...and because the manufacturer gave $1000 towards the cost of hand controls, they did not have to pay a dime.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jgrant27 View Post
    I had a bad experience, but some of it is my fault.

    Although I turned the paperwork in on time every term, they never had the money for my books when it was time to buy books. Luckily I worked at the bookstore and could charge them on my employee account until the VR check came in. Their payment was usually a month or so late, which would have a been a disaster if I didn't have another way to pay for them, I was on the quarter system and quarters aren't very long!

    The "biggest bad" was quite different, and more personal. My counselor talked me out of my "dream career" because she thought grad school would be difficult to get accepted to. I didn't want to listen to her when she suggested changing my major, but when she threatened to pull my funding, I went ahead and switched and scrambled together a Psychology degree (I was pre-physical therapy).
    I was not a good enough self-advocate at the time to stand up to her, or to figure out a different way to do things. I really regret that, as I continue to find a job I really love I am sad that I didn't follow my dream. I consider going to school to be an OT (or an OTA), but it's a big step, and my last pursuit at grad school didn't go well (mostly because of my health). I was injured at 18, had wanted to be a PT since I was 13.

    There was definitely a lack of education about what benefits might be available to me, how I would go about getting them, etc. At one point she did give me the "red book" for social security, which is dense and confusing to a 19 year old!

    It seems that some of the positive cases come from those who have better rehab programs, they are a bit more informed about what types of benefits are available, and often seem to have assistance in getting them.
    Would you mind telling us what your GPA was when your counselor advised you to change goals? It is tougher to get into PT school than med school in a lot of cases. Were you accepted to any PT schools prior to changing majors?

  7. #17
    My funniest story as an employee of voc rehab. I was working the front desk one day. Guy walks up to the counter, I wheel over and ask how I can help him. He pulls out a pad and writes me a note. he would like to see a counselor. From that point on I figure he is deaf, but does not how to sign so I make sure to be looking him in the eye as I cannot sign and figure maybe he can read lips somewhat, besides, I always consider it the polite thig to do. We continue on with the preliminaries, mostly by note. After having him wait for 15 minutes or so I get him in to see the counselor who is our deaf and hearing impaired specialist. Sometime later the guy comes out walks past, giving me a 'See you" wave. The counselor is in his doorway and say says "C'mere" I go over and enter his office asking "So, you sign him up?" he says "No. And by the way, he's not deaf. He can hear and he can speak, but will only do so if he can do in bible verse." After a suitable pause for disbelief followed by amusement I told the counselor "Well even if you would not have been able to find him eligible for services, you should have told him to apply for a job at one of the Christian bookstores in town. He'd certainly have more opportunity to speak there than while working anywhere else". Hand to God....true story.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by soonerborn View Post
    My voc rehab in Weatherford Oklahoma was great. They paid for gas while I went to school, bought me a titanium chair ti lite, roho quatro and offered and asked if there was more for them to do. They also paid for hand controls and a lift for my truck. I can say nothing bad on them. The one gripe if I could actually say that, is it did take some time to get it all done. At the cost of free who could bitch. Addiesue if you have any more questions let me know I will answer anything.

    I'm currently in the process of going through getting accepted to the program in NC they said it would be a 2 month process. Seems like a long time to me. But thats great about you getting hooked up with all that stuff. I hope they will get back to me sooner than later and hook me up with hand controls and a lift for my truck as well. What kind of truck do you drive and what were the lifts they put in?

  9. #19
    My son's voc rehab counselor has become our "go to" guy for any type of problem that we have with other government agencies. Going to school and doing paid internships creates all sorts of problems with SSI. He helped my son write up a PASS Plan so he could keep getting SSI while earning money during his internships. Social Security Administation wasn't going to approve the Pass Plan but Voc rehab counselor reasoned with them. Social Security problems keep coming up but thank god we have someone to help us deal with them.

    Voc. Rehab paid for a laptop and PDA for my son. They offered to buy him a printer but he didn't need it. They paid for driving evaluation and training and hand controls. They didn't pay for any tuition or books. More than anything, they have been an on going source of advice and support. I never thought that we were going to get this kind of support. I think that the counselor realized that my son is serious about achieving his goals and that is why he has been so supportive.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Susqu's Avatar
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    I have had good experiences with getting things adapted when I was first injured.(and thank goodness for that as it really augmented my independence ) I was approved for funding up to 4 yrs college degree, they asked what I wanted to study...my answer was, 'What will lead to a job?' and no one could steer me beyond the generalanswer of MBA or 'study computers'.

    I'm too old for a carreer but I would like getting back to work again.


    My main gripe is that all the training in the world is still fairly useless without someone to hire you. I would like to see some job placement counselors or program to work with the local businesses to find out what human resources they need and help to set up training or education trac that they would see as beneficial to hire. If Voc Rehab either, internally or by partnering with another agency, could get out there and talk up the tax benefits and other plus sides of hiring PWDs to businesses that may give a better outcome for all their training resources.

    Anyone else?

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