swosn@lhsc.on.ca 519-685-8500 ext. 32462

Return to Work – Self Assessment Introduction

Are You Ready to Return to Work? A Self Assessment Guide for People with Stroke

This Guide was developed for people recovering from stroke who are considering part-time, full-time or self-employment. It is designed to support you as you consider all the important parts of a successful return to work plan.

The Guide is to be completed by you, with input from family members, physicians, health care providers and your employer, as needed.

Use this Guide as many times as you need to. What you learn along the way will help you focus your rehabilitation / recovery efforts and make the most of your current abilities for a safe return to work. Remember, use of compensatory strategies and aids/devices may increase your success for an earlier return to work.

With this Guide, you will assess five critical areas to returning to work. Completing this guide requires self-awareness of your current abilities. You need to consider your abilities and compare them against the demands of the job you hope to return to or begin. An understanding of your current abilities, in relation to what is expected of you on the job, is critical to having a successful return to work.

The five critical areas to returning to work are:

  • Physical Ability
  • Communication
  • Thinking skills
  • Emotions
  • Driving/Transportation

How to use this guide

You may complete the guide in 2 different ways.   You may choose to complete the guide online and save the information you enter online to your computer or you may print a paper copy of the guide and complete it using a pencil or pen.

In each of the five areas, you will rate your current abilities and the importance of that ability while performing tasks at work (Job Demands).

For rating your current abilities use this guide:

My Current Abilities

Expected job demands are tasks that you performed every day at work. For rating the importance of a job demand use this guide:

Expected Job Demands


The stroke that Sally experienced resulted in her having very limited use of her right arm. Sally’s job was a data entry clerk. Her ratings would likely be:

Use of Arms

A)    Consider activities including: reaching, lifting, grasping, strength, coordination, writing, keyboarding and fine motor skills.

Example: Sally

Sally’s right arm has limited use (scored a 1 on abilities) and her job requires significant use of her arms (scored a 9 on job demands). Based on this score, Sally would have difficulty performing tasks that required use of her right arm. Further rehabilitation or a change in job tasks would be required for Sally to return to work.

Ideally, your current abilities will be close to or greater than the tasks or physical demands of your intended job. If not, you can refocus your rehabilitation/recovery efforts and re-assess your abilities again later. Remember, your employer may also be able to change the tasks of your job to match your current abilities.

We hope that using this Guide will help you understand your current abilities, make you think about the tasks or demands of your job and develop a plan to return to work. Each time you complete the self assessment, it will lead to useful discussion among the people supporting you and your return to work efforts.

Note:  Please rate your current abilities considering any aids/devices or strategies that may improve your job performance.

Click Here To Begin

 Click here to print out the guide and complete the guide using a pencil or a pen