Kaleidoscope – Background and Overview

Kaleidoscope was formed in response to a clear need and driven by Professor Alan Clarke who was a dedicated and passionate medical professional, who had a spinal cord injury. As a result of the foundational work he completed the service was implemented at Burwood Spinal Unit in 2003 and followed at Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit in 2006.

Kaleidoscope is an early intervention and restorative vocational rehabilitation program that provides detailed career advice and planning, educational support and works to reduce the fear of work and remove barriers. We are dedicated to getting people who have a spinal cord injury or acquired illness into meaningful and sustainable employment. Services delivered are specialist work support, both to acute patients and community clients.

Kaleidoscope is a Not-For-Profit organization where our guiding principles are:

  • Everyone can have a great job
  • Its healthy to be working
  • The sooner the better
  • There are thousands of work opportunities
  • Personal networks are the key
  • The process for getting a job is the same as before
  • You can do it yourself – Whatever it takes!
  • Your life experiences give you unique qualifications


The Kaleidoscope program undertakes vocational rehabilitation work with people far earlier than ever before in their rehabilitation (80% of patients are engaged within 3 weeks post spinal cord injury/illness). This combined with the holistic approach of the multi-disciplinary team engagement, sets you up to powerfully re-enter the job market. Specialist Vocational Consultants provide on-going individual career coaching with the strong emphasis on you doing as much of the work as possible. Dependency can be a learned behavior and we recognise this and want for our patients/clients to own the vocational rehabilitation, receive education and feel empowered.

The other key aspect of the Kaleidoscope program and crucial to the success, is engaging employers early and being available post placement for support.



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