Josh at workAccording to the Brain Injury Association of America, every 9 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a brain injury. Meet one of those individuals, Josh, in today’s blog post and discover how he received the supports and services he needed to find work.

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Celebrate Success: Brain Injury Awareness and Ticket to Work

Mar 19, 2019

Josh at workEvery March, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in recognizing Brain Injury Awareness Month, a time to acknowledge and support the millions of Americans impacted by brain injury. The theme for the 2018-2019 awareness campaign is Change Your Mind.

According to the BIAA, every 9 seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. Today, we'd like to introduce you to one of those individuals, Josh. He experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a car accident at the age of 4 that would cause episodic seizures for the rest of his life. His TBI left him with questions about what his options for work would be and whether he'd be able to sustain full-time employment. Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program helped him find answers.

Active career goals

At age 18, Josh began receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and considered where his life would be headed after he finished high school. Like most students, he knew he wanted to earn a good living doing something he liked after he graduated. But he worried that finding the kind of work he wanted would be challenging.

"It was [going to be] hard for me to find a good job because I can't drive a car, and I sometimes need extra time to learn things," he recalls. "People do not always understand my disability."

Josh learned from his high school transition specialist that he was eligible to receive individualized counseling and assistance that could help him prepare for the workforce, find a job and stay employed. These services, which are free through the Ticket program, are available to people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits.

The right opportunity

Ready to get started on the path to work, Josh's high school connected him to a local Employment Network (EN), an organization that offers free employment supports and services through the Ticket program. Through the EN, Josh received a skills assessment, career counseling, help with his resume, interview coaching, job-search assistance and job coaching. With this help, Josh landed an internship with Futura Industries, an aluminum manufacturing facility.

Although Josh had worried that he'd need extra time to learn or perform tasks, his EN helped him request reasonable job accommodations from the company. Josh's employers made sure he had the accommodations he needed, including extra time to process information, clear and simple communication from familiar supervisors, and a predictable daily work schedule.

The internship worked out well and in September 2013, Josh's strong work ethic and performance on the job had earned him a job offer for a full-time position with Futura Industries. He had become — and continues to be — a valued member of the team, with his supervisor pointing out that the decision to hire him was an easy one.

Josh walks to work every day and likes that his job allows him to move around and stay active.

Josh has seen marked improvements in his life since he decided to participate in the Ticket program. He is employed in a rewarding position that allows him to help his family, and he is happy to be contributing to his community through employment. He is financially self-sufficient, feels free of the limitations imposed by relying on a fixed income, and enjoys spending time with his girlfriend. Josh is living the life he imagined for himself and tells friends that they should consider the Ticket program so they can "... get a good job too!"

Learn more

You can learn more about Josh's full experience with the Ticket program by reading his Ticket to Work success story.

If you need information, resources, and support after brain injury, contact a brain injury expert through BIAA’s National Brain Injury Information Center (NBIIC) at 1-800-444-6443.

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

Learn More

You can learn more about Josh's full experience with the Ticket program by reading his Ticket to Work success story.

If you need information, resources, and support after brain injury, contact a brain injury expert through BIAA’s National Brain Injury Information Center (NBIIC) at 1-800-444-6443.

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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