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Returning to Work

  • STEPS for Recovery 7980 Chapel Hill Road Cary, NC, 27513 United States (map)

Next Step Meeting  - June 29, 2018

Topic – Returning to Work

Led by Julia Christian, Fred Josey , Ben Gill and Jesse Raidiger


Question:  When do you know you are ready to go back to work? 

There is a different answer for everyone:

-          If you are on Medical Leave of Absence from work due to your injury– You may have a time limit which forces -you to go back to work or lose employment.

-          If you are in therapy, you may be able to discuss the right timing with your  PT/OT/ ST

-          MD Prescriptions – some jobs require you to  get a MD note/RX to state you are ready to go back to work.

There are RESOURCES in the community that can function to assist you with return to work:

Vocational Rehabilitation –

Community Partnerships – determines your  need for cognitive rehab, helps you find and keep employment

Gateway Clubhouse  -

Independent Living  may be available to help pay for car modifications in order for you to return to work.

TAP Back to work Group –– class that gives you the tools to understand what you need to do in working world (every other Thursday 6-7pm).


Accommodations may need to be made for you to return to work:

Part-time with transition to full time

Voice Recognition Software – Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor – may be assigned through long term disability services


It is important to know your rights as an employee:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Your work must make “Reasonable Accommodations” (larger companies may be able to accommodate more than smaller companies)

What are  Reasonable Accommodations?

Voice text

Headset phone

One handed keyboard

Environment with decreased distractions

Some individuals find it helpful to inform staff of your current condition at return to work.  This helsp to get everyone on the same page.  Allows folks to develop an understanding of special needs you may have.  How you may work differently than before and what best way is to effectively communicate with you now. 

For example:  “My name is John Smith, as many of you know I suffered a stroke on August 1st of last year.  This stroke affected the right side of my body, as well as my speech.  I can understand everything you say to me, but at times it is hard for me to get my words out clearly.  When you communicate with me, it is best to leave me email messages.  I am more easily distracted than before my stroke so, I plan to come in and work during off-peak hours and will wear sound cancelling headphones to allow me to focus on the task at hand.  Thanks for your understanding.” 

Earlier Event: May 18
Art Therapy
Later Event: July 27
Guided Meditation