A Promising Practice for Supporting Employees with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
When it comes to employment, several promising practices exist to help transitioning service members with TBI, PTSD and many other disabilities and/or combat related injuries succeed in the workplace. One such practice is job coaching.
What is a Job Coach?
A job coach is a person, usually supplied by an outside agency, who provides specialized on-site training to employees with disabilities. Typically, a job coach will help an employee learn to perform his/her job accurately, efficiently and safely. In many cases, the job coach may also help the employee acclimate to his/her work environment.
What do job coaches do?
Typical job coach duties include:
- Assessing and assisting a person with a disability to develop a list of interests and potential skills.
- Performing job analyses at work sites in order to match people with optimal positions.
- Providing one-on-one training on a job site.
- Providing job retention services to employers and people with disabilities.
The job coach's degree of involvement with the employee should decrease over time - as the employee masters the requirements of the position, the job coach will then contact the employee and supervisor on an as-needed basis.
How can employees with TBI and/or PTSD benefit from job coaching?
Employees with TBI and/or PTSD can experience a range of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms that may interfere with everyday activities, including work. By providing one-on-one guidance and assistance, job coaches can help these individuals achieve workplace success. Coaches can help individuals with TBI and PTSD - or any disability - identify their particular job challenges, and help find solutions for meeting those challenges.
How can businesses benefit from job coaching?
- Job coaches offer businesses access to a pool of pre-screened candidates, reducing the time it takes businesses to fill positions.
- The up-front work of a job coach can complement the business's screening and hiring processes.
- Job coaches can help identify accommodations the employee may need and may also serve as a resource for the employer's diversity efforts.
- Job coaches are on-site resources who can provide ongoing supports and job retention services.
How can employers pursue job coaching?
To hire or use a job coach, employers should contact their local state vocational rehabilitation agency by visiting http://www.jan.wvu.edu/cgi-win/TypeQuery.exe?902.
Other sources include:
- APSE: The Network on Employment
- The Job Accommodation Network
- Goodwill Industries
- United Way
Information about other promising employer practices - including mentoring and customized employment - can be found on the America's Heroes at Work website: www.AmericasHeroesAtWork.gov.
This fact sheet was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Job Accommodation Network, the Veterans' Employment and Training Service, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.