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  • Employment

    I need advice. I am a C5/6 quad, two years post injury. I want to work! I want to earn money, even a little bit! Problem is, I have NO use of either hand. I used to be a computer technician, and I want to stay in the field. I am proficient with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I hope to get training through vocational rehab, but they want me to tell them where I could find a job, but I don't know. I do know that I don't want to waste time training for something and then not be able to find work.

    What have others done in my situation? Web design, database design, application training, programming, etc.? Work at home, at the office? I am proficient with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Is there work out there for me?

  • #2
    Megan

    I think that you are on the right path in emphasizing computers and becoming proficient with DragonNaturallySpeaking. The dot com industry is coming out of its dip and there will be a great need for people who can design web sites, administer sites, and deal with internet systems. Most of the work can be done over the Net from a computer at home.
    For example, as this site gains grows, I hope that it can be run by people in the community.

    Wise.

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    • #3
      Another idea

      You may want to "bone up" on computer adaptations for people with disabilities. While many OTs do this, there is also a need for people from the computer/info technology side to know this. You could work as a consultant for businesses or schools who need to make "reasonable accomodations" under the ADA for their employees or students with disabilities, as well as individual consultation to clients and even to smaller rehab centers which have no staff of their own who are proficient at this. You would need to learn modifications for all disabilities...hearing impaired, visually impaired, etc., not just paralysis, and have a marketing plan.

      I know a guy locally who teaches special computer classes at a community college for PWD. He is a C-5 tetraplegic, and carved out this job for himself in a similar way.

      You would not be able to work exclusively from home, but it could be done from a home office.

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      • #4
        voice recognition

        The new Microsoft Office XP upgrade includes voice recognition software. Its accuracy is about 85 to 90 percent when I dictate directly into Microsoft Word.

        This is important to me because I have no use of my hands either and I am a freelance technical writer. I work at home for a variety of companies. All assignments are turned in via electronic mail. I think that finding work as a freelance programmer would be similar. Finding a full-time employer is much more difficult if you did not keep your job after your injury.

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        • #5
          Megan

          Megan here's a link to online programming tutorials http://www.programmingtutorials.com/main.asp it might be of some interest
          "I QUESS THEY'LL HAVE TO RUN OUT OF RATS, BEFORE THEY TRY IT OUT IN HUMANS. WAKE ME UP WHEN IT'S OVER !!!"

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          • #6
            i'm building a catalog site in exchang for a rugby chair and some wheels. maybe you can do stuff for community or local sci recreational dept. hell, i may need help soon. i'm also c5-6 complete
            C-5/6, 7-9-2000
            Scottsdale, AZ

            Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

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            • #7
              altgough, i too wish i could go back to my old job at the shop, which i was offered, but i cant take because its too damn hot. i miss the socialization of work. hopefully soon
              C-5/6, 7-9-2000
              Scottsdale, AZ

              Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

              Comment


              • #8
                Help Desk . . .

                . . . might be a good option. It would allow you to leverage your experience as a tech if you could more easily distinguish between software/hardware problems. There's a gazillion jobs out there for this. I'm a programmer. That's also a great option if you can get the training. Go for it, whatever you decide. Employment helps a lot.
                ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

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                • #9
                  Get certified

                  Megan,

                  My best advice would be to get a few different certifications for "proof" that you know what you say you know. I am going through the certification process right now since it seems every job now requires a certificate or acronym after your name.

                  Good luck and keep us informed...

                  -Steven
                  ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with Steven. There is a tremendous demand for people who are certified in database systems and it will allow you to get jobs that you can't get otherwise. For example, most of the major commercial sites to be driven by Oracle databases. A person who is certified to working with such databases can charge consulting fees of $100-$200 per hour. Wise.

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                    • #11
                      Microsoft certifications

                      I was looking at the various Microsoft certifications available vs the potential job market: a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) is required to take 7 exams while a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) only has to take 4. There are fewer MCDBAs out there so database jobs have a higher salary. :-)

                      -Steven
                      ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

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                      • #12
                        Steven Edwards

                        Steven have you taken any online courses? If so, how were they?
                        "I QUESS THEY'LL HAVE TO RUN OUT OF RATS, BEFORE THEY TRY IT OUT IN HUMANS. WAKE ME UP WHEN IT'S OVER !!!"

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                        • #13
                          Jeremy,

                          Unfortunately I have not taken any computer related courses online so I cannot rate them. I read a lot of books online to prepare myself and use my contacts online so that I can play with new web technologies.

                          An outstanding resource for me has been http://www.informit.com/free_library/ as they offer the full text of many programming books online for free. Let me know which area of study you are interested in and I can probably give you more specific references.

                          -Steven
                          ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I taught myself web design back in 1995. Voc Rehab paid for my college (most anyway) for a degree in Art Education, and I also got a degree in Fine Arts. I graduated in August 1996, and I could have gotten a job as a teacher right away but decided to try freelance work. In May 1998, I took a job as web designer for Wizard Entertainment in New York and moved up here, leaving my comfort zone in Tampa, Florida.

                            Our website, which was run by me and my boss, was spun off into it's own company of over 40 employees last year. But due to many reasons, I was no longer happy with my job. I also saw the new company wasn't going to last, but no one wanted to listen to me. On June 8, I resigned to go freelance. I found out that Friday, most of the people at the company were laid off, and the rest will be let go by next month. They shoulda listened to me! [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

                            Anyway, freelance is great for a gimp (if you can get enough work), because I can schedule my own hours. But I did the 9-5 thing for over 3 years, so it can be done. I've been busy doing web design and coloring comicbooks recently. A recent web job I did is www.ShadowReavers.com and http://www.actorcomicfund.org/mockup.html is taking shape now. www.RusWooton.com is my portfolio site, but it needs work.

                            I'm going to Wizard World 2001 next weekend, and I hope to drum up more web design and comicbook coloring work there. It's a huge Comic/Entertainment convention with over 35,000 attendees each year.
                            ~Rus

                            [This message was edited by Scorpion on August 06, 2001 at 07:58 PM.]

                            [This message was edited by Scorpion on August 07, 2001 at 01:20 AM.]

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                            • #15
                              Accomodation

                              Rybread, if the only reason you did not go back to the same employer was the temperature of the environment, installation of air conditioning would be a reasonable accomodation that would be appropriate for anyone with a high level SCI (medically necessary), esp. someone who lives in AZ!!! Was this explored?

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