Vocational Rehabilitation at Regional Epilepsy Center
By Robert Fraser, Ph.D.
People with epilepsy have an unemployment rate estimated at two to three times the national average, and almost half of the people with active seizures experience unemployment.
The center’s Neurology Vocational Services Unit (NVSU) was created in December 1975. It is one of only two such units in the United States housed within an epilepsy center. This allows for true collaboration with the center’s team on issues of work access or job maintenance.
The program helps people find meaningful and financially viable work. We serve people with neurological disabilities such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and stroke – a significant number of whom seek to work part-time to complement their Social Security income.
With no costs for clients, staff members provide these services:
- vocational evaluation
- neuropsychological screening
- community situational assessment
- jobsite and accommodation consultation
- specialized placement
- post-placement support (to include job coach or paid co-worker as trainer)
The unit has a rehabilitation counselor, two employment specialists, two interns and contract job coaches. It offers computer stations so clients can job-search and submit applications online. Clients can attend regular job club meetings, receive job leads that match their needs and abilities, and receive vocational advice.
In December 2006, the Unit was awarded a three-year accreditation as a vocational rehabilitation facility by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
People new to the group are welcome to meet one-on-one with an experienced counselor at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays to talk about participating in the program. These meetings are in Suite 2088 in the Patricia Steel Building, 401 Broadway (at the corner of Broadway and Jefferson in Seattle).
For more information, visit our Web site at www.nvsrehab.org.