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Special Tree Expands Vocational Rehabilitation Program in Mid-Michigan

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The goal of many people recovering from brain injury is returning to work.  Special Tree’s strong commitment to help our clients achieve the best possible employment outcomes is reflected in our wide range of vocational rehabilitation services that focus on each client’s individual goals and job interests.   That’s why we’re so excited about the new enhancements to our Vocational Rehabilitation Program in Mid-Michigan.   We’ve ramped up our program with more specialized services including Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Community-Based Employment Enclaves to help even more clients make a smooth transition back to work. 

“Our Vocational Services are an integral part of our outpatient rehabilitation program in Mid-Michigan” said Rene Dell, Associate Director of Vocational Services.  “Our Voc and therapy teams work closely together to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to support clients with a variety of vocational goals -- whether they’re returning to their previous job or exploring other alternative work options.”   

Mid-Michigan Therapy team members Heidi Nadobny and Kelly Hott are heading up the Mid-Michigan Voc program which is based at Special Tree’s NeuroSkills Center in Midland.   In their expanded role as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists, Heidi and Kelly help clients manage the many aspects of working after an injury, from handling cognitive challenges and job modifications to vocational assessments and work training.  Heidi and Kelly are also developing Mid-Michigan’s Employment Enclaves which provide clients with paid community-based work training and job coaching at local businesses.   

“Our Voc team find an enclave based on each client’s individual needs and interests and then find a community employer willing to have them come as an enclave with job support,” said Rene.  Clients are currently working in community enclaves at the Midland Community Center, a hair salon, Midland Shelter House Resale Shop, and Valley Lanes Entertainment Center.  “Enclaves are a great way for our clients to try out different types of jobs in the community while also strengthening their job readiness skills.”  

Rene added that the Mid-Michigan Voc program will continue to evolve to help clients reach their highest potential.   For example, an in-house job was created for a client at the Midland NeuroSkills Center to develop skills for community-based employment. “We start fresh with each and every person to help them find the best placement for long-term success.”