A Local Man Overcomes Disability

Looking for or losing a job can be hard for anyone. Having any type of disability can make it even more difficult. One man has learned the true meaning of “no pain, no gain.”

You probably can't tell by looking at him, but two years ago Jason Leishman had two herniated disks that were hitting his sciatic nerve, keeping him from moving, until one day when he was introduced to Florida's Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

Tony Hardiman, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, says, "I think that Mr. Leishman is very thankful and appreciative of what vocational rehabilitation did for him because he did not have the resources to get medical treatment."

Jason says, "I don't know what I would've done without it. I have two kids and a wife and a mortgage. I was down. I couldn't walk. Without it I would've been sunk in the mud."

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program paid for Leishman's operation, his hospitalization, physical therapy and medications.

Jason adds, "I'm strong. I'm back to doing everything I did before, and most importantly I'm able to work and support my family; so it's been a blessing, it really has."

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and Florida's Vocational Rehabilitation Program is committed to helping people like Leishman become part of America's work force.

Melanie Mowry Etters of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, says, "The whole month is an opportunity for us to try to get the word out about vocational rehabilitation, about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities."

Jason says, "Like I said, I don't know what me and my family would've did without it."

To celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Vocational Rehabilitation will sponsor an open house Monday, October 18 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact 245-3340.


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