About Us

Neurology Vocational Services Unit (NVSU) is housed within Harborview Medical Center and has been providing quality job applicants to companies in the Northwest since 1976. We truly believe that a successful job match benefits both the hiring company and the employee. To that end, we work hard to find and maintain successful job matches.

NVSU has been a long time local leader in matching its clients to the Puget Sound Business community’s employment needs. NVSU has been highly successful in this endeavor. Client populations served include individuals with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, stroke or other neurological conditions. Since our inception more than thirty years ago, we have assisted more than 2,500 people find and keep meaningful jobs.


Neurology Vocational Services Unit mission is to provide a full range of employment services for individuals living with neurological conditions, assisting them to lead satisfying and productive lives. In addition, through research, teaching and distribution of information, the unit acts as a national resource in the field of neurological vocational rehabilitation.


Neurology Vocational Services Unit (NVSU) has been a long time local leader in matching its clients to the Puget Sound Business community’s employment needs. We serve individuals with neurological conditions; including but not limited to, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, learning disabilities. NVSU has been highly successful in this endeavor. Since our history inception more than thirty years ago, we have helped hundreds ofpeople find and keep meaningful jobs.

Our Staff


Robert Fraser, PhD, Director of NVSU, is a professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, joint with the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Neurology and consultant with Associates in Rehabilitation and Neuropsychology.  He is an active counseling and rehabilitation psychologist, a certified rehabilitation counselor and a certified life care planner who directs Neurological Vocational Services within Rehabilitation Medicine. Within neurological rehabilitation, he has specialized in epilepsy, brain injury, and multiple sclerosis.

Barbara Beach, M.Ed, CRC, Department Manager, has extensive years of experience working with TBI, chronic pain, spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities in vocational rehabilitation inpatient and outpatient settings. Trained as a Rehabilitation Counselor and having worked in Administration in numerous capacities, today, Barbara functions as Department Manager of NVSU in both administrative and clinical capacities, working with a smaller caseload of clients, providing Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations, Community Based Assessments and Job Placement services.

Steven Lashley, MHA, Employment Specialist, began in 2008 as an Intern and today engages with clients in intensive Job Placement and Community Based Assessment services. Steven has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Human Resource Management from the University of Washington, extensive job development and on the job coaching experience. Steven is very experienced in the area of Epilepsy and is involved with our NVSU epilepsy research groups. Currently, Steven completed his Masters of Health Administration from the University of Washington in 2017.

Dora Fung, M.A., CRC, Rehabilitation Counselor, has experience providing vocational and therapeutic services to children and adults with disabilities. For the past eight years, she worked as a job coach, employment specialist and a listening therapist for individuals with neurological disorders and developmental delays. Dora obtained her Bachelor’s degrees in Speech & Hearing Sciences and Sociology from University of Washington and has completed her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She provides Job Placement services, Community Based Assessments, Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations and specializes in Job Retention services. In addition to NVSU, she is also the vocational counselor in Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program and inpatient unit within Harborview Medical Center.

Louie Lopez, NVSU Job Developer/ Employment Training Specialist, has worked within Vocational Services for over 26 yrs with adults with developmental disabilities and neurological disorders. He is integrally involved in the Latino Business Community and is Bilingual in Spanish. Louie has been with NVSU since 2005 and continues to find and secure positions well suited for clients with exceptional devotion to his job and his goal to find clients the right Job Placement.

David Strand, Ph.D., CRC, Rehabilitation Counselor, recently obtained his doctorate in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and participated in a pre-doctoral internship in Neuropsychology at the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health.  He has previous experience at NVSU providing vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with neurological diagnoses.  At NVSU, he is active in providing clinical services for clients, to include Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations, Community Based Assessments, Job Placement, and Job Retention services.  Additionally, he provides Neuropsychological Assessment services in conjunction with Dr. Fraser.  He is currently pursuing his psychology licensure with the state of Washington.

Sydney McPhearson, MACRC, Rehabilitation Counselor has experience as a clinical research coordinator for a Parkinson’s Genetic Research Group with the University of Washington and VA Puget Sound Health Care System.  Sydney obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Science with a specialization in neuroscience and clinical aspects from the University of California San Diego.    Sydney completed her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at Western Washington University in August of 2017.  At NVSU she provides client services related to Intake Interviews, Job Placement, Community Based Assessments, Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations and Job Retention.

Eleanor Pawley, BFA, Secretary Senior/ Community Liaison has been with NVSU since 2016.  Coming from a background in conference planning, event management and theatre production, Eleanor plays a critical role in development, fundraising events, runs the office and is Bilingual in Spanish.  Eleanor has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Design/ Technology from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film, Purchase, NY.

Roy Kristiansen, Office Assistant

Faith Akhueti-Oni, Job Coach/ Employment Specialist

Sierra Severson, Job Coach/ Employment Specialist


We would like to follow-up with your recent services received from NVSU. Below are links to take our satisfaction surveys. The survey should only take about 5 minutes.

These surveys are used to obtain satisfaction ratings in order to improve our services and to generate our annual report. The results are published on our lobby bulletin board next January and in our Community Impact Section. We greatly appreciate your willingness to provide feedback, as your opinion is very important to us.

Thank you for working with us.


Client Satisfaction Survey


Employer Satisfaction Survey

DVR Counselors:

DVR Satisfaction Survey