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                                    UNDER RE- CONSTRUCTION! * * * * *      


Working to Put Disabled Vets Back to Work                              November 3, 2011

By Lauren Powell, Executive Producer - Fox54 News

Working to get our disabled veterans back to work in the Garden City.

Paralyzed Veterans of America announced nearly $300,000 has been raised for it's vocational rehab center at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.

The funds were raised at this year's Paralyzed Veterans Golf Open in May.

More than 40 local businesses made the donations to ensure our wounded warriors can receive unique training and support services to help them get back into jobs.

For more information on P.A.V.E. Visit their website:

SEPVA Board Members: Larry Dodson- VP, Chuck Spilman, Jennifer Windham- Executive Director, Homer Cole- President, and Lonnie Burnett were present in Augusta during the Nov. 2, 2011 donation of close to $300,000 for its vocational rehabilitation center located at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. A check was presented to Paralyzed Veterans from Agility Defense & Government Services, the lead private sector partner for the Augusta Operation PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment) vocational rehabilitation office.

The Augusta Operation PAVE office, empowers veterans with disabilities by providing the services they need to reintegrate into the job market – while matching them with businesses and organizations with open career positions.

"Hiring more veterans with disabilities is a win-win for our country. Those who served are able secure good careers; employers get great employees; and, in turn, our economy becomes stronger," said Bill Lawson, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America, who accepted the check on behalf of Paralyzed Veterans. "We thank Agility for their continued support of this important effort to get our disabled veterans back to work, and encourage other businesses to do the same."

Lawson was presented the check from Rich Brooks, vice president, Logistics and Commodity Services, Agility Defense & Government Services (photograph to left). The funds presented were raised at the 2011 Paralyzed Veterans Golf Open held in May, by over 40 businesses and other private sector supporters to ensure ongoing operations to provide unique training and support services to help unemployed wounded warriors secure careers with great employers.

"We've seen first-hand the kind of support that exists out there to help get our veterans back into good careers," said Brooks. "We challenge other companies to step forward to hire wounded veterans and help fund the expansion of Paralyzed Veterans' vocational rehabilitation program to other VA facilities around the country."

With Operation PAVE vocational rehabilitation offices in Augusta, GA; Richmond, VA; Minneapolis, MN; San Antonio, TX; Long Beach, CA; and Boston, MA, Paralyzed Veterans and its partners have helped hundreds of veterans and have developed working relationships with more than 300 employers. Of those helped, 134 have already begun new careers with a wide range of employers. To learn more about Operation PAVE, please visit

Sixty-five years ago, Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a band of spinal cord injured service members who returned home from World War II to a grateful nation, but also to a world with few solutions to the challenges they faced. These veterans from the "Greatest Generation" made a decision not just to live, but to live with dignity as contributors to society. They created an organization dedicated to veterans service, medical research and civil rights for people with disabilities. And for more than six decades, Paralyzed Veterans of America and its 34 chapters have been working to create an America where all veterans, and people with disabilities, and their families, have everything they need to thrive. (

SOURCE Paralyzed Veterans of America




posted Mar 10, 2011, 7:19 PM by Unknown user

Options and Promise

by Patrick McCallister


“One of the issues that comes up with my clients is frequent medical appointments," says Keisha Wright, Vocational Rehabilitation counselor for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. "If they get pressure ulcers—it's very difficult to keep a full-time job if they have skin issues. Telecommuting eliminates a lot of those issues. It's also a timesaver. You're not stuck in traffic a half hour each way, every day or so."

Telecommuting, working by using telephonic and computer communications, is an increasingly serious full- and part-time work option. According to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, about 6 million folks worked primarily or exclusively from their homes in 2008. That year, the country had some 154.4 million workers. According to the Telework Research Network, just over 2% of the nation's employees, about 3 million, worked primarily or exclusively from home. Many more split their days between working at offices and at homes. About 10 million folks were self-employed in 2008—many involved in e-commerce and other home-based businesses. By all accounts, the number of people working primarily or exclusively from home is and will keep growing.

"One of the benefits for anybody is you can work in your underwear if you want to," says Wright. "People with specific issues, like those that individuals with spinal-cord injuries typically deal with, don't have to worry about taking time off if they're not feeling well."

A Revolutionary Development

Home-based employment used to be fairly common in America but dropped rapidly from 1960 to 1980. Almost all the decrease was due to a fast decline in family farming. However, between 1980 and 1990 there was a 56% increase in the number of at-home workers. The new breed of home workers was increasingly white collar. Then came the Internet, which has become a revolutionizing tool for home-based commerce, according to Louis Irvin, PVA's Vocational Rehabilitation Program manager.

"I do telecommuting now," he says. "I've been in it two years."

A family man with a wife and 16-month-old child, Irvin is paralyzed. He's spent much of his career going to offices. He says working from home gives him something an office can't—much opportunity to be home with his family, an up and down of telecommuting.

 "There's a lot of positive for me," Irvin remarks. "Positives are, you have enormous flexibility in your work schedule. I believe it offers an opportunity to work at your own pace. But, that has its challenges when you're working Friday night at 10:00 p.m. You have to be very disciplined to schedule your off time."

There are about 54 million people with disabilities in America, according to the Census Bureau. An estimated 10% of people in the traditional working-age population, 18–64, are in that count. Nearly 31% of those with severe disabilities have jobs, but only about 16% have full-time employment.

Poverty rates closely follow employment rates. While about 9% of Americans live at or below federal poverty levels, 12% of people age 25–64 with less severe disabilities are considered impoverished. However, among those with severe disabilities, the poverty rate approaches 30%.

One reason for the high unemployment rate among people with disabilities is transportation and geography, according to Irvin. Many with severe disabilities must stay in certain areas to remain close to family or particular medical centers. Sometimes those areas have good transportation options—often, they don't.  

"[Telecommuting] takes away the geography and transportation issues," says Irvin. "Transportation is the highest obstacle to employment for people with disabilities."

Read more in the March 2011 issue of PN.


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