John Kupec

John Kupec

John, a 59 year old Air Force veteran, was referred to DVR by the VA Specialist from DWS - Employment and Training division. He identified his disability to be: TBI- Head injury. During the eligibility process we found out that his biggest barrier to employment was actually a multi-level lumbar degenerative disc disease with neural compromise and degenerative joint disease in his left knee. During the development of his Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) all three disabilities were addressed. 

After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, John found employment as a civilian as a plumber, pipe fitter and equipment operator. Due to his physical limitations, he is no longer able to do perform these job duties. John is limited in the areas of: memory, organization, planning ability, physical exertion/stamina, lifting, stooping, bending, carrying and standing for extended periods of time. He reached out to DVR in hopes that we would be able to assist him in preparing for and securing employment within his limitations.  

John participated in a psychological evaluation that allowed DVR to understand his cognitive abilities. That report showed that Mr. Kupec is experiencing early signs of dementia. John received oversight from DVR of his psychological and orthopedic disabilities and limitations associated with his diagnosis and the emotional/social and physical concerns that come with these diagnosis. DVR assisted with job placement services to assist in preparing for and securing employment within his limitations.  An assistive technology evaluation was also utilized and conducted by The University of Wyoming Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR); John was able to utilize their loan program to identify Assistive Technology (AT) that he could use to increase, maintain, and improve his functional capabilities. Vocational rehabilitation guidance and counseling was provided by DVR along the way. 

Ultimately, John was placed at 2 different part time jobs. 1. Working at the VFW part time in maintenance. He is in charge of grounds keeping. He rides a riding lawnmower, which accommodates his physical limitations. 2. Working for a real estate company as a maintenance man. In this placement he utilizes - assistive technology- a PDA- personal digital assistant- that allows him to  make lists and notes of tasks to be completed on the workday, this is an accommodation that allows him not to rely on memory to complete the tasks given. These jobs have allowed John to continue to remain active, which is a huge component of maintaining his physical and mental health. Financially, this has also freed John and his family from debt and reliance on public assistance. John is very happy in his employment and his employment is competitive and integrated and in line with his vocational goal established in his IPE.