Returning to the workplace after a spinal cord accident

Trying to work after a spinal cord injury isn’t always easy. Many people with this type of disability face considerable challenges, and some aren’t able to return to the same job they did before the accident. The law does set some standards for accommodations but there are other considerations.

Some of the things to think about are those that have to do with your capabilities and your recovery from the injury. The logistics might also make things rather difficult.

Legal protections

Legal protections for people who have disabilities are included in the Americans with Disabilities Act. This was passed in 1990 and updated in 2008. People who are covered under this act can ask employers to provide reasonable accommodations that would enable them to do job duties. These accommodations can’t cause a hardship on the company, but the interpretation of this depends on individual factors of the business.

Accommodations that might be beneficial

The type of accommodations that might make your life easier depend on the exact impacts of your injury. If you have trouble using your hands and arms, special programs for your computer might help. A desk that is shorter than normal that can work with your wheelchair might also help.

To remain compliant with the law, buildings and bathrooms must be accessible. Employers can accomplish this by using ramps and making sure that the door openings are the current standard size.

Vocational rehabilitation

Some individuals might benefit from using vocational rehabilitation programs when they are ready to return to the workforce. This program helps you to find out what jobs you can do and what types of accommodations might help. These programs also offer trials to help you see what you can handle when you go back to work. Many also offer assistance to help you find suitable employment when you are ready to return.

Because some people with spinal cord injuries find that they can’t return to work at all or on a full-time basis, finding suitable financial support is often hard. Seeking compensation for the injury is possible if it was due to the negligence of another person. This can greatly reduce the financial impact.