PVA Keystone Chapter member and U.S. Air Force veteran Sean Ferry was six months into a trying job search when he reached out to PVA’s Veterans Career Program. Sean, who is paralyzed from the neck down (C4 – quadriplegic), wanted to be an engaged and contributing member of society but was having problems finding a position where he could work from home and use necessary adaptive equipment.

 

Veterans Career Program Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Genia Hachenberg, M.S., CRC, and Sean spent time discussing Sean’s passions, including computers, and also discussing adaptive equipment that he needed to accommodate employment. They explored employers who value disabled veterans and are willing to integrate adaptive equipment into their systems. 

 

One of Genia’s colleagues shared information about JLodge, a quality assurance company that focuses on hiring Americans with disabilities. Sean applied for a position, had three interviews, passed their assessments, and was put into a pool of qualified candidates for the next employment class. Genia advocated for Sean with JLodge, working with them on the necessary accommodations and making sure their equipment would be compatible with Sean’s online keyboard and other equipment.

 

Sean was hired as a Quality Analyst and started working four hours a day, five days a week from home. Sean was empowered through employment while also having a schedule that lets him successfully manage his health.

 

Unfortunately, due to the economic recession and the loss of a contract, Sean’s position was eliminated. Genia and Sean worked together to find a variety of different opportunities. In the meantime, Genia learned that J. Lodge, Sean’s previous employer, had been acquired by Cognosante and they intended to open several quality analyst positions. Genia reached out on behalf of Sean to share his previous experience and advocate for him to be an early candidate when they started hiring again. This outreach and Sean’s exemplary performance paid off and in December Sean accepted a new position with Cognosante as a quality analyst. 

 

Sean was also selected to work with GovernmentCIO and the Kessler Foundation as part of their research and program evaluation initiatives.