James Altman, PHD.

Nevadans with disabilities achieving their dreams

James Altman sits in a wheelchair in a van

When you and your mother both work on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, carpooling to work really makes sense. But when James Altman’s mother began having difficulties lifting him in the vehicle on a daily basis, James decided to apply to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) to see what services he could get to help him be safely transported back and forth to work and keep his job.

With his PhD. in English, James is employed at the University of Las Vegas as an Academic Support Specialist. James loves his job but as time went on, transporting James was getting difficult because the family car was not equipped to handle his wheelchair and his mother was having difficulties lifting him. This experience inspired James to make a move. James applied for VR services in late 2017 and became eligible based upon limitations in mobility due to Cerebral Palsy. James is unable to walk and depends on a wheelchair to get around the community. He and his VR counselor met and discussed options available to help him get to and from work. It was determined that the best option for James was to get him a vehicle with modifications. This would allow his mother to continue carpooling him to and from work in a safe manner. Per VR policy, he was sent to a passenger vehicle assessment to get a report on what kind of vehicle and accommodations would work best for him. After the assessment, he and his mom did their research and found a vendor that could provide both the van and accommodations.

Since vehicles with modifications are quite expensive, it was agreed that James would pay for the van and VR would assist with the vehicle modifications. This helped James keep his costs down and still be able to buy a vehicle like any other person. After the modifications were completed, James and his mom can now safely drive to and from work without any issues. James is very happy with his services and has been able to maintain his job which he loves.

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