Working it out
Vocational rehabilitation program gets people back into employment arena

By Melanie M. Sidwell
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT - On one side of Sloan's Lake in northwest Denver, Chad Foster sits at his computer typing, a digital media producer who, from his living room, burns DVDs about amateur sports and travel for his customers.

On the other side of the lake sits St. Anthony Central Hospital, where nearly six years ago a Flight For Life helicopter landed on the roof with a patient, paralyzed in a Sunday morning hockey game that left two vertebrae scrambled in his neck.

Foster, that same patient whom neurologists and nurses quietly urged to accept his paralysis, used vocational rehabilitation to get where he is now: operating his own business - with a great view.

"Whether you're born with a disability or suffer an injury," Foster said last week from his Denver home, "(vocational rehab) takes such a load off. It puts you in focus to make (employment) happen."

The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, under the Colorado Department of Human Services, helps people who, through illness or injury, have encountered obstacles to gaining employment.