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Sustainable Work Programs for People Living with a Spinal Cord Injury

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 100 K
Funding amount
Title: Sustainable Long-term Work for Individuals Diagnosed with SCI
Project Description: A vocational training program and education center within a university campus based coffee shop. The coffee shop will serve as a location to learn job skills and determine necessary accommodations based on individual needs, wile providing valuable work history and references for people who complete the program. Our project is a four phase vocational program that includes 4-8 week blocks in each phase with goals to train a minimum of 20 individuals within one year. The first phase includes a thorough professional evaluation and self-assessment of individual needs, current abilities and interests, as well as preparation and education for various work roles. Phase two includes specific job training within a controlled setting with emphasis on environmental needs and accommodations as well as technology access and training. The third phase includes support for job seeking and introduction to the work force for the employee as well as educating potential employers on the benefits of hiring a physically impaired employee. Group sessions included in this phase will focus on empowerment and employment process and use of peer mentors. The final fourth phase includes support for successful employment to both the employer and the employee including community engagement, independence, and inclusion for persons affected by and living with a spinal cord injury. Current community partners include hospitals and support groups in the region and local restaurant owners interested in the project. In addition to working with UTEP Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) plans include working with various colleges within the university system to address the individual needs of each participant including Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation Counseling, Education, Engineering, Computer Science and other programs as individual needs arise.
Expected Outcomes: Within one year: 1. A regional vocational training and education center designed to identify and enhance skills for individuals diagnosed with spinal cord injury will receive a 90% satisfaction rate on participant surveys among those who complete each phase of the program. 2. A self-sustaining coffee shop will employ 1 part time employee and train a minimum of 1-3 additional participants per shift working 5 days a week where the vocational training and education center resides. 3. 90% of participants will obtain employment within 6 months after completing a 4-24 week training program.
(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC