One of the primary focuses of rehabilitation counseling is the career development, employment, and vocational behavior of individuals with disabilities. Career assessment plays a very large role in the conceptualization of career-related issues and the delivery of appropriate career and employment services to people with disabilities. This chapter provides rehabilitation counselors with the necessary information and understanding of concepts and career assessments that impact the career development and employment of people with disabilities. It begins with an overview of the importance of work and the benefits derived from engaging in productive work—related activities. The chapter briefly discusses the factors that impact the career development and employment of people with disabilities and introduces the Illinois Work and Well-Being Model as a conceptual framework that can be used to guide career assessment. The chapter concludes with a description and overview of commonly used career measures used in rehabilitation counseling setting.
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Providing career and vocational counseling services to individuals with disabilities is a complex and dynamic process that is developmental in nature, involves the person interacting with the environment, and is moderated by social cognitive factors. This chapter addresses career and vocational counseling of persons with disabilities and provides information on evidence-based vocational interventions associated with supporting efforts to enter the workforce. It introduces the concept of work as a therapeutic intervention and provides an overview of a theoretical framework for the vocational readiness of individuals with disabilities to engage in work. It also provides an overview of commonly used career counseling techniques in rehabilitation settings. In discussing the centrality of work and the ways in which work is critical in meeting human needs, rehabilitation counselors gain an understanding that work plays an important role in the individual’s mental health and social integration.