Rosie’s story—how In-Voc helped her return to work

Sharing the stories of peers is a common informal practice when supporting a person with spinal cord injury (SCI) to consider their future. In-Voc decided to formalise this strategy to fill a resource gap in the area of SCI vocational rehabilitation. The In-Voc Service aimed to produce a series of videos capturing the return to work journeys of people with SCI as personal accounts may inspire and encourage more active participation in vocational planning. Here is Rosie’s story:

Rosie sustained a C7 AIS B SCI in a motor vechicle accident and was an In-Voc participant during her one-year inpatient admission at Royal North Shore Hospital and Royal Rehab. In the film Rosie is four years post hospital, five years post injury. She started volunteering in a childcare centre a year after discharge and did so for over a year while she was studying childcare at TAFE. In 2015, once she was qualified she was offered a paid position. Rosie is currently working four days per week.

Key themes captured in the film include:

  • Strong personal motivation and dynamism. After completing an administration course in 2013, Rosie herself brokered the work experience that lead to employment.
  • Unpaid on-the-job training is valuable. This matches the observation that people who do this are three times more likely to gain competitive employment.
  • Education is a powerful mediator of disability. Pursuit of training after SCI can offset otherfactors such as severity of injury. Rosie went onto study and attain a TAFE qualification in childcare.
  • Returning to driving was critical to Rosie’s independence and return to work. Returning to driving doubles a person’s chances of being employed.
  • The role of family; Rosie’s father believes in her potential and values work.
  • The role of the employer; TG’s Childcare actively encouraged Rosie to become a qualified educator and made reasonable accommodations for the one duty she couldn’t physically manage in the preschooler room (the manual handling of nap-time beds).
  • Strong sense of self-efficacy

For further information about In-Voc phone (02) 9808 9666 or email us.