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Return to work after Spinal Cord Injury According to Professor Ludwig Guttmann, the moment of return to work is the true endpoint of a successful rehabilitation.  Compared with the general population, unemployment rates in the  spinal cord injury population have been reported in excess of 10-  fold. Recent data suggest many persons with spinal cord injury who  are currently unemployed judge themselves to be capable of  working and also express a desire to work.  There is limited  evidence on the barriers to returning to work after spinal cord injury  in the UK. Also, there is a limited understanding to what extent  current UK-based vocational spinal cord injury rehabilitation services  do meet these needs. Given the profound impact of employment on the sense of  independence and social wellbeing of people with spinal cord injury,  the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Foundation is seeking support from  both Specialist Spinal Injury Services and Service User  Organisations to initiate a research project to investigate raised  uncertainties around employment after spinal cord injury.  Senior occupational therapist Vicky Munro, who leads the Vocational  Rehabilitation Services at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, is on a  mission to improve the vocational rehabilitation services that are currently provided. As a first step, it is of great importance to  gain a clear account of how vocational rehabilitation is provided within all spinal units in the UK.   In partnership with the Foundation and service user organisations, Vicky is currently preparing a survey which will be  distributed across the UK. Once the responses have been received, we will compare the details of the vocational rehabilitation  services with recommendations in the scientific literature. Through combining both sources of information, the next objective  will be to recommend and implement a nationally endorsed vocational rehabilitation program for spinal cord injury. 
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Peter Apps, Trustee of the Foundation, at work using a range of assistive technologies in his daily duties as a journalist.