Steering You in the Right Direction
The Southern California Chapter will look to host a number of workshops related to employment, public transportation and housing. Our Peer Mentor Program will help provide support to the individual and their family who are dealing with a new SCI/D diagnosis. There also needs to be some down time fun events and that is why we will offer a number of Meet & Greets, a great place to network with others while learning a little bit about a product or resource. Click on the drop down menu to select the workshop or meet & greet tab for more information.
Our workshops will better prepare you, giving you the tools to; assemble a resume, apply for a job, interview, and convey reasonable accommodation. We work closely with various agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, Department of Rehabilitation and Vocational Rehabilitation to gain a better understanding of what resources are available. We’ll assist in determining if you are eligible for services and how to apply. We also work with potential employers providing disability etiquette training to staff. Keep an eye on our calendar to see when a workshop will be in your area, when you find one submit your application to hold a spot, the workshops are free to members.
Locating accessible, affordable housing when newly injured/diagnosed or moving to a new area is a genuine concern. Finding a place to live that doesn’t grant complete access throughout can be demoralizing. Given both the newness and the uncertainty of the situation stress has already taken its toll on health and relationships. We work closely with the housing authority as well as other agencies in order to assist people in the progressing through the process and finding an accessible living situation that is affordable.
Our workshop will assist in navigating the public transportation system. How to find accessible public transportation, who to call if there is a problem. We are working with the department of transportation to educate their staff on disability etiquette and the reality of the situation if a person is left stranded. Our goal is to improve access and service.
What is Peer Mentoring?
Peer Mentoring is an effective way to learn a variety of personal skills, including problem-solving, assertiveness, and goal-setting. Trained Mentors are dedicated to helping people adjust to new challenges and situations. Within the context of spinal cord injury (SCI), a Mentor is someone who has successfully adapted to living with SCI and wants to empower others to do the same. Mentors are knowledgeable about coping strategies, daily living skills, and critical resources.
Why is Peer Mentoring Important?
SCI is one of the most challenging injuries a person can experience. Adapting to life with a disability can be a long-term process, but one that can also be extremely rewarding. Peer Mentoring provides the tools to cope with the medical, psycho-social, and physical changes often associated with SCI. Current research suggests that peer-mentoring is an effective intervention for improving functional outcomes, health, and well-being in persons with SCI. People participating in Peer Mentoring Programs may have a lower incidence of secondary complications (e.g., pressure sores, depression, pain) associated with SCI. Mentors can help Peers re-evaluate their life/career goals. They are able to assist with the day-to-day challenges of living with SCI, particularly those related to self-management of health care and social interactions. SCI may prevent a person from doing things the “old way,” but it doesn’t prevent them from learning new ways to live. Learning new paths to independence, finding new sources of self-esteem, and becoming part of new social systems are all part of successful adaptation to spinal cord injury.