541 North Fairbanks Court
Chicago, IL 60611
United States


Our Vocational Rehabilitation program assists people with physical disabilities in identifying and pursuing their vocational/employment goals /options that facilitate optimal vocational functioning in productive activities that best match their interests, abilities and skills. The primary responsibility of Vocational Rehabilitation is to provide vocational assessment, evaluation, counseling, Return-to-work assistance and job placement services to inpatients and outpatients throughout the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab continuum of care. Our services are provided to people with physical disabilities (i.e., brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral vascular accidents, chronic pain, amputations, neurological disorders, cerebral palsy, burn and orthopedic injuries) who are of working age.


Vocational Rehabilitation services may be provided as part of an interdisciplinary team. The Vocational Rehabilitation plan is individualized to meet each client’s unique needs in terms of employment/training based on interests, abilities, preferences and resources available in their community. Services are provided in a timely manner based on initial assessment and the client’s goals. The vocational rehabilitation program acknowledges the responsibility to continuously evaluate services to promote program improvement and innovation.

We also accept outpatient referrals for those interested Vocational Rehabilitation services outside of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Referrals may come from external physicians, patients, external case managers, family members, Illinois Department of Human Services-Division of Rehabilitation Services Counselors, other allied health professionals, and community agencies.

Manager, Vocational Rehabilitation

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Lisa Helma,


Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

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Jennifer Barthel


Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

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Jessica Huerta


Upcoming Events

8Oct 2023

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2023

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Programs and Services

Explore below for details on specific program or to get answers to your Vocational Rehabilitation questions.