- Are you a person with a disability or blindness?
- Do you need help with your disability to work or go to school?
- Has disability had a negative impact on your thoughts and feelings?
- Do you need help getting access to services or benefits for people who have disabilities or who are legally blind?
- Are you a veteran and need help with applying for veterans’ benefits or even appealing a denial of a claim?
It is quite common for a person who experiences blindness or disability or even a friend or family member to ask for help in navigating the very complex nature of blindness and disability. A person, their family or friend may be struggling with overwhelming negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about disability or blindness. The person with a disability or support system may be wondering how to access the benefits that they may qualify for based on entitlement programs or social services from non-profits. The person may be deaf or hard of hearing, blind, physically disabled, or have what many people refer to as an “invisible” disability that may affect their learning in school, ability to get and keep a job, or to live independently.
REHABILITATION COUNSELING FOR GREATER PEACE AND INDEPENDENCE
My approach to disability consultation can take on many different forms because of my unique background. My education, experience, and credentials are essentially what give me credibility for my opinion even though anybody who has ever lived with a disability or has become an advocate because of a family member or friend who has experienced a significant disability will tell you that they learn more that way than any other way. The same is true for me.
An important fact to remember is that disability is a part of life. It’s nearly impossible for us not to experience disability at some point in our lives. I believe that it’s important that we treat each and every person with the dignity that they deserve, no matter how young or old, or how they may have lived their lives or their abilities. That’s my approach and I try to help others do the same through advocacy, even though some do not understand or agree with how disability affects a person’s life.
Rehabilitation counseling is essentially the general service of where to start if you or someone that you love is having trouble with accessing reasonable accommodations or modifications, services or benefits, or adjusting to blindness or disability. In the first session, I will work with you towards understanding your unique and specific needs and determine the primary service that is the best fit for you. You may only need one session, or you may need more comprehensive services such as psychotherapy, case management, or even alcohol or substance abuse counseling. Additionally, if you are an employer, business, school, or government entity who would like to become voluntarily compliant with ADA or other disability civil rights laws such as the Rehabilitation Act, this service is available to you as well. When working with agencies that want to become voluntarily compliant, I can answer one or a few questions at a time or we can dive deeper into more complete evaluation and consultation, which will be dependent upon the needs and goals that your representative identifies.
ALTHOUGH YOU MAY SEE THE BENEFITS OF REHABILITATION COUNSELING, YOU MAY STILL HAVE SOME QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROCESS…
I am newly blind or disabled. I am angry, confused, and I don’t know where to start.
To lose your eyesight or experience a new disability can feel devastating because no matter what you have lost, it feels like you lost not only a part of you, but you. You no longer feel like the same person and many, if not all, of your opportunities that you had planned for your life have been taken away from you. Family members and friends may initially gather around you in support, but then they may abandon you. You may have lost your income and don’t know how to access your benefits. If you were self-employed or had little work history, that can make it even more difficult to qualify for benefits. The good news is that a one-hour consultation may be the place to start. After I hear a little about you and your history, I may be able to tell you where to go and what to do next. I cannot make you any promises or guarantees about success because I do not know you and your personal history. However, I have a wealth of knowledge and resources that I may be able to provide you about disability benefits and services, including veterans’ benefits. Many of my clients find out about information that they didn’t previously know about, and many find hope and healing after they follow-through with my recommendations.
My son or daughter is in the military, and they are going to be medically retired. How can I help him or her?
I have a combined twenty-five years of experience with the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation process, which includes different medical retirements and other benefits once approved for disability compensation. I encourage you to read about my expertise in working with military and veterans and to schedule a minimum of a one-hour consultation with me. If your son or daughter has not yet exited the military, it’s always best that I meet with you and/or your son or daughter before he or she exits the military.
We received a request to provide an accommodation, but we don’t think it’s necessary or reasonable.
All requests for accommodations or modifications are required to be determined on a case-by-case basis and as to whether the accommodation or modification is reasonable is part of that determination. There are some general guidelines that I can provide you and we can discuss your unique circumstances and the individual’s needs, including if you are mandated by ADA, Rehabilitation Act or some other disability civil rights law to provide an accommodation or modification. However, generally speaking, there are only a few limits to when you may deny an accommodation or modification if you are mandated to provide them, and you will need to continually evaluate to determine if the accommodation or modification is working. As an expert consultant, I work with individuals, businesses, employers, attorneys, and many others in areas such as these in order to attempt to achieve a workable solution whenever possible. Expert witness services are also available when matters cannot be resolved amicably.