Bill Neal was working as a nurse when he was involved in a car crash that left him with a disability. The new physical challenges meant he would have to leave behind his career as a nurse for something that wasn’t as physically demanding. Fortunately, a friend recommended he contact the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program, which offers specialized services to help Arizonans with disabilities obtain gainful employment. “I was looking for a different career path, and so I thought I’d give it a shot and see if it might be an option for me,” explained Bill.
Choosing a new career path proved to be a difficult decision for Bill. He knew he wanted to be in a “helping” profession, and after several months decided to pursue counseling.
“I’ve always been in a field of service, giving back to others, and I thought, ‘What a great opportunity to give back without the physical constraints of nursing.’ I just couldn’t keep up with all that activity,” said Bill.
His VR counselor, Marti Landis Jones, says they were able to help Bill with tuition for his master’s degree, a computer for school, and even gas vouchers so he could commute from Payson to Chandler twice a week to complete the hours necessary for licensing.
After a lot of hard work, Bill graduated with his licensed professional counselor (LPC) degree. He now works as a licensed therapist and regularly refers people to the Vocational Rehabilitation program to see how it can help their careers as it helped him.
To learn more about the Vocational Rehabilitation program, visit the Vocational Rehabilitation website.