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Zac is a former college basketball player for Clayton State University, who only played his freshman year due to a tree falling on his car resulting in a spinal cord injury in the summer of 2011. In a moment, Zac went from being a college basketball player to a C6/C7 quadriplegic. This ultimately shifted the trajectory of his life and career. Zac has been a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) since 2017 and has extensive knowledge in assisting people with disabilities enter the workforce. Additionally, Zac has been playing wheelchair rugby since 2012 and had the opportunity to compete in The World Games 2022 for the USA Low Point Team.
Zac began his career as an intern at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) where he learned how to assist clients in finding employment through the various services available through community providers. While interning at GVRA, Zac also worked for the Shepherd Center part-time as a Peer Liaison, where he assisted inpatients and outpatients adjust to spinal cord injury.
Upon earning his CRC, Zac became a part-time Vocational Specialist at the Shepherd Center, in addition to his Peer Liaison position. In this role, Zac learned the process of returning people to work. Zac transitioned to work for the Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), the state’s designated protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities, as an Employment Advocate. At the GAO, he had
robust training in Social Role Valorization and Customized Employment. With this knowledge, he worked to encourage and increase meaningful employment for people with disabilities. He was responsible for monitoring state and private facilities for compliance with federal and state laws, ensuring that people with disabilities had access to competitive-integrated employment.
After the GAO, he worked for Amy Price of the Price Support Network doing customized employment, where he practiced discovery and saw firsthand the beauty of uncovering individuals’ strengths and gifts. Zac earned an Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators credential in Employment Services with an Emphasis on Customized Employment certification in 2021.
Zac now works at Shepherd Center as an ABI-post acute vocational specialist. He has worked across the continuum of brain injury post-acute services: SHARE Military Initiative, the Complex Concussion Clinic, and Shepherd Pathways, returning people to work with the help of an interdisciplinary team.
Of note, from 2019-2022, Zac served on the board of directors for Citizen Advocacy of Atlanta & Dekalb. This experience allowed him to expand his knowledge of Social Role Valorization and dream big for individuals with disabilities. Zac firmly believes that with proper placement and accommodation, we can truly increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities.