Timothy’s story—how In-Voc helped him 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 Timothy’s story:
Timothy sustained a C6 AIS D SCI as a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle. He was an In-Voc participant during his nine month inpatient admission to Royal North Shore Hospital and Royal Rehab. Timothy was a field surveyor who retrained to undertake an office-based surveying role with the same employer and within the same team. He commenced on-the-job retraining during his admission attending the workplace three hours per day, one day per week. A graded return to paid work was then undertaken after discharge. He currently works a nine day fortnight.
Key themes captured in the film include:
- Early intervention and workplace visits provided a psychological boost.
- Vocational rehabilitation drove other therapy goals.
- Early intervention was valued by the employer.
- Frequent and open communication allowed this supportive employer to respond and assist in the most appropriate way.
- Returning to work allows financial independence.
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