- By Pinalben “Pinky” Patel -
I have been a vocational rehabilitation client since 2003. I am grateful for VR’s help in getting me two laptops, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a lift for the family van, course books, and other software throughout the four years of my college education. My disability, Fredreich's ataxia, is a progressive disease so there is no telling what type of assistive technologies I would require as time goes on, and VR helped me get a ceiling lift, a Dragon NaturallySpeaking update for my new laptop I just bought, and a wheel chair accessible van even after college.
Without their financial support, I might have never completed my degree in Print Communications from Murray State University or be a published freelance writer. However, I do have a suggestion, which could improve VR’s services for people in a situation such as mine.
When I needed an aide for the school day, VR provided funding but never helped in finding one. It was very difficult to find reliable attendants on my own.
I had people who called and set up an interview, but they did not show up when time of the interview came. Some aides I hired just did not show up when it was time for them to come. They just have a smiling, gracious face until they just don't come. And finding a substitute when the aides did not show up or wanted a vacation was a nightmare too.
I think an organization would have better luck in finding reliable people to work. Therefore, instead of funding the person who has to hire aides, VR should give money for the aides directly to the college he or she is attending to hire attendants. It would be so nice to know when you get off the transportation you are using, that someone will be there for you. That was the feeling I had in high school, but I did not realize it until I started college.