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    #16
    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?

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      #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.

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        #18
        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?

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          #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.

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            #20
            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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              #21
              Experience with Voc Rehab

              I was told about voc rehab by some people I knew, by several doctors and friends, about how they will help get me trained for a job, pay for school, all kinds of things. I called the office nearest my home and they told me because of where I lived I needed to call a different office. I called that office and they told me it was the wrong one and I should call the other one back. So I did and they were adamant that I should go to the other place. I gave up for a time and eventually called the second office and relayed the yo-yo experience and they set up an appointment a few months away saying they weren't as anal as the other office so it would be fine for me to go there. (right away with the use of the word 'anal' I should have realized) When the appointment finally came the counselor there first went over my application with me and treated me like a child as he spoke very slowly and pointed to every letter in my name on the application as he held it up in front of me asking if it was correct... and your name is P-E-T-E-R ugh by the time we got through my last name I was about to scream, then he did the same with my address. That is, until he got to the city and told me I was in the wrong place, then he left me for several mintues came back and called the other office I had originally called in the first place and got me an appointment there, several months away.
              When that day came this guy wasn't quite as bad and when I explained my goal was to get some training and a job so I could get off of Social Security Disability he seemed excited. He told me I was the first person in the 7 years(seven years!) that he had been there who wanted to get off disability. We went over a few things we needed to do to finish getting me approved for Voc Rehab and said he'd call and set another date after receiving this info he needed. I went the next day instead of waiting for doctors and SS to mail the things he needed and turned it in to the desk at the office and told her to give it right to him as he was waiting for it - the rest of the week passed and I hadn't heard from him. I called him and was only able to leave a message and still no call back for two days - then he finally called and set up an appointment to get going months away again. Finally on that day - (the first week of this month) I met with him a scond time. Everything we discussed he typed notes in his computer and spoke them out loud as he typed - commenting on his backspacing and going to other pages in the program on his computer. He told me stories about how crazy it gets around his house on Conference Weekend and several times after telling an endlessly long story would ask himself "what was my point?" - "o-well...". Then at the end of the appointment - the end because i couldn't stand anymore by the time the next thing happened I stood up and told him I was leaving. Done with the computer stuff, he then began to question me in amazement why in the world I would want to get off of disability. He said "man if I was on disability I would be content to just lay around my house and mow my lawn". It's difficult to get help from someone who envies the disabled. Then he talked about every job he had ever had and how he grew up on a farm and at 5 years old had to get up at the crack of dawn and get his chrores done and he had been working ever since. I wouldn't put it past this man to do something to harm himself so he can be considered disabled and just lay around his house and mow his lawn. So - after that meeting I was about to vomit over this man's lazy attitude and called the office wanting to talk to his supervisor - So I talked to the supervisor finally (a whole month to actually get a callback) and she defended this guy on everything. She told me I should stay on disability because "no one will hire someone with a history of seizures".

              I guess all these people who work at Voc Rehab are getting paid for doing nothing therefore they believe we all should!

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