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  • Wanting to work.

    I'm a c5 incomplete. Going insane and ready to work. I have experience in construction, automotive and shipping and receiving. I went to college and still have student loan debut. Would love to go back, but I would only go back if I got scholarships or grants. If you have any ideas that would be great. Thanks.

  • #2
    Look at your state's office of vocational rehab. I live in PA and they paid for me to go back to school after my SCI and I have been employed since graduating in 1993.

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    • #3
      Thanks, I talked to them and the guy was a total ass, kept telling me I don't know, we don't pay for transportation, if you go back to school we might pay for a book or two. I know this state is broke, but their's got to be more than that. I'm calling back tomorrow to talk to someone different.

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      • #4
        Did you finish a bachelor's degree when you went to college? Some DOR programs do not cover advanced degrees, so if you are wanting to pursue a masters or doctorate, you may be out of luck.

        Ask to speak to the DOR counselor's supervisor. You are entitled to do this, and may find that the person you were talking to was 1) uninformed, 2) saying you were unemployable simply to decrease his case-load and close your case.

        What do you plan to study if you go back to school???

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Clinker View Post
          Thanks, I talked to them and the guy was a total ass, kept telling me I don't know, we don't pay for transportation, if you go back to school we might pay for a book or two. I know this state is broke, but their's got to be more than that. I'm calling back tomorrow to talk to someone different.
          Definitely talk to someone else, if you get the same story ask to speak to a district mgr. If denied services or are offered very minimal help ask them to put their decision in writing as you wish to file a formal appeal. I was a Michigan Voc Rehab counselor before retiring and assisted scores of people with bachelors as well as graduate degrees. Helped people obtain pwr chairs, manual chairs, wheelchair vans, even helped in home modifications. If you persist you will be helping to make the system work for others to follow.

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          • #6
            I have an associates degree in Heating and Cooling and Graduated in 2005. I tried calling back to talk to someone else at voc rehab and the other person is gone till after the 4th. I'm kicking around the idea of being a COTA, but my hands are still contracted, so I might wait to see where I am at in the future.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Clinker View Post
              I'm kicking around the idea of being a COTA, but my hands are still contracted, so I might wait to see where I am at in the future.
              That's not a deal-breaker. My quad paws have been contracted since '99. I've since gotten a bachelors, a masters, and am certified as a therapeutic recreation specialist.

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              • #8
                Scott, if you don't mind me asking. How did ya afford the schooling, while being disabled? I talked to a local college professor, who teaches the COTA program and she's going to pay me to come in to talk to her students and let them feel the tightness in my hands. She feels I should wait a bit, before pursuing the COTA program. I have a friends dad who might be able to get me into home depot. Which would be great and its close to home. Now for the hard part, finding a driver for my van and someone to cath me. Which I would have to do if I returned to school too. How can I find scholarships or grants for school? Might do both, still on the fence about the school thing. Do I start and knock out my electives or do I wait it out for a bit. I'm a year and a half into my injury and making remarkable progress.

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                • #9
                  If you cannot cath yourself, why not have an indwelling cath and leg bag? Have you considered online classes?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Clinker View Post
                    Scott, if you don't mind me asking. How did ya afford the schooling, while being disabled? I talked to a local college professor, who teaches the COTA program and she's going to pay me to come in to talk to her students and let them feel the tightness in my hands. She feels I should wait a bit, before pursuing the COTA program. I have a friends dad who might be able to get me into home depot. Which would be great and its close to home. Now for the hard part, finding a driver for my van and someone to cath me. Which I would have to do if I returned to school too. How can I find scholarships or grants for school? Might do both, still on the fence about the school thing. Do I start and knock out my electives or do I wait it out for a bit. I'm a year and a half into my injury and making remarkable progress.
                    I was injured January '99, after one semester into my undergrad education between '98-02. My parents had the means to pay for college. After graduating, I worked for 7 years before going to grad school ('09-'11). At that point I had some money in savings, my wife worked full-time, and I had a research assistantship (i.e., a part-time job) that covered tuition + supplied a stipend.

                    There are a lot of little details to sort through, but they can be figured out. I'd work towards exploring techniques of cathing yourself or alternative methods of bladder management. The finding-a-driver issue can be less of a thing if you find a school/community that's pedestrian-friendly. Also, you'll likely make friends who are willing to help drive. Or, work toward driving on your own.

                    It may be worth looking into a community college to knock out some general education or elective courses in advance, but make sure credits will transfer to wherever you hope to attend.

                    Scholarships, grants, etc. – be willing to ask around. Contact departments at various schools, your local department of rehab services, etc.

                    As Mike mentioned, consider the online route too.

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                    • #11
                      I've considered the online classes and will do them. The COTA program at my local community college only offers 2 elective classes online, for that course. The other community college around me, offers the COTA program, but am told their credits don't transfer, so I won't be going there. I will make it happen either way, if I go that route. Thanks for the input.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Clinker View Post
                        I have an associates degree in Heating and Cooling and Graduated in 2005. I tried calling back to talk to someone else at voc rehab and the other person is gone till after the 4th. I'm kicking around the idea of being a COTA, but my hands are still contracted, so I might wait to see where I am at in the future.
                        If you haven't already, I hope you call vocational rehab back. I know they are state agencies, and I'm not in your state, but when I got into medical school I thought I might need a standing wheelchair and I didn't have an extra $10,000 lying around, so somebody told me to check out VR. The conversation went something like this:

                        Me "Hey, so is there any way you guys could get me a standing wheelchair?"

                        VR: "You broke?"

                        Me: "Yup, see these bank statements and medicaid ID cards."

                        VR: "Sure, you can have the standing chair, we'll sort out the cost thing later. Need some tuition money?"

                        Me: "You cover that? ah, yes, sure I'll take it."

                        VR: "Okay, just tell your school to send us the tuition and fees, we'll pay it all."

                        Me: "Awesome!"

                        VR: "How about living expenses, do you need money."

                        Me: "I've got SSD, but that's not enough to live on."

                        VR: "Okay, we'll give you another thousand or so dollars a month to live off of. And while we're at it, just let me know what books and supplies you need and we'll sort that out too."

                        Me: "You guys are the best! I came in here hoping for help with a standing chair and you offered me a way to get out of school debt free!"

                        .... Doing rough math in my head, at this point I think VR has given me a little over $100,000 and in the end it will be a grand total in the range of $130,000. I thought my state was broke too, but I guess if you talk to the right person, sometimes purse strings can be opened in your direction.

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                        • #13
                          Update:
                          Been awhile since I've posted on here. I talked to a different person at VR and I got them all the paper work they needed, I am waiting to go do an assessment there. I also have been asked to go and talk with OT students at the local college.

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