Rehabilitation counselors are involved in providing career assessment, counseling, and planning services to people with disabilities. Career counseling can help people with disabilities crystallize their vocational goals and obtain career-based occupations consistent with their interests and abilities. This chapter provides an overview of career development theories and their applications in rehabilitation counseling, including the commonly used assessment instruments related to each specific theory. It reviews key components of job placement strategies and tools and other employment related services. The chapter also explains the concept and key elements of supported employment and its related strategies and services.
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Rehabilitation counselors have long played a central role in helping persons with disabilities achieve their independent living and employment goals. Although the profession of rehabilitation counseling evolved from the state-federal vocational rehabilitation (
VR) program, the professional practice of rehabilitation counseling is no longer restricted to state VRagencies. This chapter helps the reader understand rehabilitation and the impact of related legislation on rehabilitation counseling practices and the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities. The chapter explains the evolution of rehabilitation counseling and professional issues related to the profession, including certification and licensure. The chapter also provides the basic principles of ethics, ethical behavior, and risk management related to the professional practice of rehabilitation counseling.
People with disabilities are one of the most stigmatized and marginalized groups in the United States. Traditionally, rehabilitation counselors use a supply-side employment approach to provide employment services for people with disabilities, with a focus on medical, psychological, social, educational, and vocational services to improve functioning, stamina, and job skills of people with disabilities. Demand-side employment, on the other hand, has a focus on workplace culture and disability inclusion practices (and the interaction of employer demands and the environment [e.g., the job economy]) as predictors of high-quality employment outcomes for people with disabilities. This chapter reviews the literature related to demand-side employment approaches to create employment opportunities and improve the quality of employment for people with disabilities. It also discusses employers’ perceptions about hiring people with disabilities. The chapter concludes with a discussion of effective disability inclusion policies, procedures, and practices that increase employment opportunities and quality of employment for people with disabilities.
The state–federal Vocational rehabilitation (
VR) system addresses employment disparities faced by people with disabilities by offering services to target individuals’ employment needs and promote consumer choice and empowerment. Vocational rehabilitation can play an important role in enhancing the psychosocial and vocational outcomes of people with disabilities. This chapter provides an overview of the state–federal VRprogram and the rehabilitation process and services associated with the public rehabilitation system. It reviews the best practices and outcomes of VRwithin the context of evidence-based practice. The chapter discusses the role and qualifications of VRprofessionals. There is empirical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of state VRservices in returning people with disabilities to competitive employment. Central to the effective delivery of VRservices is the rehabilitation counselor, with support found for counselors with graduate training in rehabilitation counseling being more effective than counselors without degrees in rehabilitation counseling.
Vocational evaluation is best done through a focus on the strengths of the individual with a disability. This chapter helps the reader understand the role of vocational evaluation in the vocational rehabilitation process. It explains the theoretical frameworks for vocational evaluation and the different levels of vocational evaluation. The chapter discusses the basic approaches utilized in vocational evaluation. It outlines the importance of vocational evaluation, especially utilizing the vocational counseling approach with a focus on establishing a strong working alliance and assessing values, interests, interpersonal skills, and personality traits. The chapter provides a theoretical framework that can be used to guide the information and analysis of information obtained during the evaluation process. It presents a basic overview of the three levels of evaluation as they relate to vocational evaluation and rehabilitation. Finally, the chapter provides a brief overview of the techniques and procedures used in vocational evaluation.