Vocational Rehabilitation

An integral part of NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation since its inception, our vocational rehabilitation program helps individuals with disabilities find employment in the competitive marketplace. Through the following programs, our clients are able to explore vocational options and develop the skills they need to return to school or work.

Vocational Counseling Service

Rusk Rehabilitation's vocational counseling service focuses on individualized career development for adults, including career exploration, academic goals, and vocational alternatives. We work with you to examine your interests, abilities, and objectives, as well as your functional limitations and compensatory strategies.

Rusk Rehabilitation vocational counselors can also contact employers as clients prepare to return to a job; provide referrals to the state vocational rehabilitation agency, other service organizations, and disability services at colleges and trade or vocational schools; and identify and coordinate access to other outside resources.

Vocational Rehabilitation for Limb Loss

During the pre-prosthetic program, people meet with a vocational counselor to review work history, including current job status, and to establish employment goals. During the prosthetic training program, patients can participate in vocational counseling and individualized career development, an ongoing process that involves examining physical limitations, interests, career exploration, academic goals, and vocational alternatives.

Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation

In the diagnostic evaluation, a trained specialist helps patients determine their vocational potential by assessing aptitude, interests, academic achievements, skills, and work tolerance. This evaluation is then used to identify a vocational objective and to develop an individualized rehabilitation plan that may include referrals for specific skills training or placement services.

A wide variety of techniques are used in the evaluation process, including behavioral observation, computer-based assessment of software and business skills, standardized aptitude tests, achievement and interest tests, and a functional learning assessment.

At the conclusion of the process, you receive a worker profile identifying your vocational options, skills, and attributes. Possible next steps may include work adjustment or occupational skills training, further education, exploration of vocational options such as volunteering, referral for ancillary services, or direct job placement.

Work Readiness and Job Skills Training Program

Rusk Rehabilitation’s Work Readiness and Job Skills Training Program is modeled after on-the-job training programs that teach participants work behaviors and job skills in actual workplace settings. Trainees are placed in offices, housekeeping areas, food service operations, information technology services, patient admitting areas, employee health services, and other worksite locations either at NYU Langone or at external organizations. Participants receive supervised training and gain real work experience while refining their job performance and skills.

Throughout the program, participants meet weekly with a rehabilitation counselor to address work- and training-related issues. The counselor monitors the participant’s progress and provides job coaching as needed. Patients who complete the program may either get placed in a job or be referred to an occupational skills training school or an academic program.

Computer Skills Training

Computer Skills Training is an intensive training program for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. It is designed to provide participants with the skills needed for administrative support jobs and other positions that require computer literacy. After students have completed classroom training, they may participate in an internship related to their vocational goal while receiving job placement services.

Individual training sessions on how to use voice recognition software are also offered. Training is available for individuals who have limited ability to manipulate a mouse or keyboard, or who simply want to learn to operate a computer hands free.

Job Placement Services

Job placement services is an outcome-oriented program that provides candidates with effective strategies for navigating the job market. The program’s focus is on direct employer referrals, job interviews, and employment retention.

Program participants meet regularly with a Rusk Rehabilitation counselor to coordinate and direct job search activities and address job placement issues such as disclosing a disability to a potential employer; requesting and obtaining reasonable accommodations; career enhancement strategies; and handling the challenge of balancing the need for benefit assistance with the desire to return to the workforce.

While participating in job placement services, candidates can also take advantage of internships arranged through Rusk Rehabilitation. These internships provide a chance to gain valuable work experience and a current job reference, as well as an opportunity to train in multiple areas and develop additional job skills.

Business Advisory Committee

Our vocational rehabilitation experts maintain an extensive Business Advisory Committee and employer network made up of more than 60 organizations from the corporate, nonprofit, government, healthcare, and education sectors. Committee meetings offer a chance for job-ready candidates to meet and network with potential employers to build relationships that can lead to job interviews, internships, advice and information, and mentoring opportunities.

Through these ongoing partnerships with businesses throughout the metropolitan area, we have been successful in helping clients achieve their employment goals and increase their independence, while offering employers access to a diverse and talented applicant pool.

Vocational Counseling for Patients with Complex Medical Conditions

Rusk Rehabilitation offers vocational counseling for patients with complex medical conditions such as polyneuropathy, myopathy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amputation, and pain syndrome. This counseling service addresses work-related concerns, including how a patient’s condition may affect their capacity to perform work, and helps develop career options.

Each person begins by defining his or her career or academic goals, and then establishes a vocational plan through a supportive counseling process.