Going back to work is one of the scariest things when you have a spinal cord injury. Everything seems impossibly more difficult, especially when it comes to getting your butt from Point A to Point B, i.e., from your house to work that is.
Maybe you can still drive yourself in your old car, but you have to use hand controls now, or maybe you live in a huge metro where there’s subways – how in the heck are you going to get to work now? From an amazing video profiling a vent-dependent quad kindergarten teacher to a paraplegic who commutes into NYC each day, here are three videos showing how they got back to work.
In our first video, we get to meet the amazing Johanna Johnson, a C1-2 vent-dependent quadriplegic, and kindergarten teacher from British Columbia, Canada. In the video she talks about how she landed her job, which was many years in the making. Johanna was injured when she was 12 and wasn’t sure what she wanted to get into career-wise when she first started college.
But after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Math, Johanna knew teaching was her calling and began her epic search of finding a job, and she *did* run into some hiring discrimination along the way. But she finally snagged a FT job, and teaches with an assistant who does what she can’t (passing out things, helping with set-up). Watch her video from the BC Paraplegic Association
Our second video proves it’s possible you can do it all boring morning routine-wise without needing to stand up. The video comes from a favorite of ours, Andrew Angulo, a paraplegic and father from Cali. In his video, he shows a typical morning in his life, from transferring into his car to driving the kids to school (and eventually making his way to work).
It’s a great 4 minute video, especially for anyone newly injured. He talks about how good it was for him to get back into his routine, even if it’s physically harder, and dealing with LA traffic. Ready to watch a get-back-to-work rockstar, along with some awful LA traffic? Watch his video
And our third video comes from aspiring actor/singer Joseph Genera, a paraplegic of 30 years from Gilford, Connecticut who refuses to be deterred by the long commute to NYC. In the video, he explains his route from CT to NYC, including catching the train to New Haven, then hopping on another train at Union Station, which finally brings him into NYC.
Once in NYC, this intrepid wheeler uses the awesome service, Accessible Dispatch, which are accessible cabs (they have a 233 van fleet). These cabs will pick you up anywhere in NYC. All you need to do is download the app to connect with them, and when you want a cab, just alert them and a cab will be there asap. Check out his video
And don’t forget, work doesn’t have to be mundane or something you can’t wait to get over with, especially if you’re a spinal cord injury survivor. Try to find something you love, and you will notice a huge uptick in your happiness.
How do you get to work each day?
Watch the videos!