The mission of United Spinal Association’s Pathways to Employment (PTE) Program is to support the pursuit of new job opportunities and a successful career for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI).
• Only 12% of people with SCI are employed one year post-injury and only 33% in post injury year 30.
• 20.1% of persons with a disability were employed in 2016. In contrast, the employment rate for those with no disability was 68.1% (per DOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
How It Works
Our PTE program partners with employers to place people with SCI in workplace jobs and provides trained peer mentors, resources, and professional support to facilitate return to work, including information about benefits and the transition to employment.
In 2015, the PTE program began piloting its program in Pennsylvania and added New York and New Jersey in 2016. We are now in the process of expanding the program nation-wide. We are working closely with the state’s vocational rehabilitation services to take advantage of any available work incentive programs, including on-the-job training, salary incentive programs, and others.
For People with SCI
If you are a person living with SCI who would like to return to work, we can help you!
After SCI there is so much to think about. Everyone wants to participate in their lives as much as they can and regain their independence. But some of the challenges of living with SCI can seem insurmountable. This includes returning to work.
The Pathways to Employment program will give you the opportunity to:
• Interact with someone who has successfully adjusted to working with a disability
• Gain practical information on resources, benefits, and work incentive programs
• Develop an employment plan
• Prepare for job interviews
• Learn self-advocacy skills
• Acquire reasonable accommodations
United Spinal will pair you with a trained peer mentor to work with. Your peer mentor is a person with SCI who is or was recently employed, and has experienced many of the things you will go through on your pathway to employment.
Are you interested in hiring people with SCI?
Employers can submit job descriptions to the PTE Program Director, and we will work on a match with our program participants. If jobs are not located in the pilot states, the PTE program will forward the job descriptions to United Spinal’s chapters and support groups in the area where the position is available.
Employers who partner with the PTE program will:
• Acquire a source and a plan for hiring people with disabilities to help meet requirements of the Rehab Act
• Find potential employees with disabilities to hire who want to work, are prepared to work, and have support from a mentor
• Gain practical information on resources, benefits, and available work incentive programs.
If you are a person with SCI or employer interested in signing up for the PTE program, please contact:
718-803-3782 ext. 7207