One of the chief obstacles to employment for many of our clients with spinal cord injuries is the lack of a high school diploma. For individuals with SCI, the challenges of finding an accessible general educational development (GED) program compound this problem, creating a particular set of barriers that often result in underemployment.
We began offering no cost and accessible GED classes at our downtown Chicago location in 2016. This program is offered to any individual with a SCI who is looking to earn his or her GED. Unlike many other GED programs, the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Vocational department is in an accessible location and equipped with assisted technology. The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Vocational Rehabilitation staff are accustomed to the unique needs of individuals with SCI, and can work with individuals to meet their needs while pursuing their GED. These considerations will help reduce the barriers to continuing education for people with SCI, increasing their potential for further education and employability. Following the completion of the GED certificate, students can elect to continue with their education or training and also have the option of working with our job placement program.