Work is the primary organizing structure of life, and the significance of work in the lives of individuals with disabilities has been radically altered over the past half a century. This chapter introduces the centrality of work and discusses the role and importance of work in meeting basic human needs. It identifies specific outcome domains for the three human needs of survival and power, social connection, and self-determination and well-being. The chapter describes the Illinois Work and Well-Being Model and discusses how it can be used to guide rehabilitation counseling case conceptualization. When the centrality of work is the core value guiding vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, the rehabilitation counselor is working to increase the individual’s power, social connection, and self-determination. These outcomes can be operationalized by multiple outcomes and cannot be measured by the traditional dichotomous outcomes of employed versus unemployed.
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- Go to chapter: Elements of Effective Job Development: Environmental Trends and the Work of Rehabilitation Professionals
Elements of Effective Job Development: Environmental Trends and the Work of Rehabilitation Professionals
The work of Rehabilitation professional (
RP) is complex, spanning a wide range of competencies and practices. This chapter considers the practice of job development across several key professional processes. It identifies environmental trends that impact job development and explains how to develop collaborative relationships with employers in the community. The chapter discusses the importance of matching the job seeker to the employment outcome they achieve. It ends by pointing out that the work of the RPis important, not just to people with disabilities but also to businesses, employers, policy makers, and communities. Although this work can be at times demanding, frustrating, and perplexing, it is always worthwhile to return to this main truth: What RPsdo contributes significantly to improving the employment outcomes and the lives of people with disabilities.
- Go to chapter: Personality Development and Adjustment Considerations in Vocational Rehabilitation Contexts
Perhaps more than any other commonly assessed attribute, personality comes closest to being understood as the essence of who we are as human beings. This chapter provides an overview of the major theoretical framework for understanding personality development and expression and provides research findings that highlight the significance of personality development across life domains, including work. It identifies the interconnectedness of personality, work, and health. One of the most challenging areas facing rehabilitation counselors today is helping individuals connect with participation outcomes related to productive functioning at home and in the community, meaningful social interactions and relationships, and healthy work. Recent research has provided strong support for not only examining and leveraging traditional areas of personality but also using emerging personality-related factors such as developmental work personality and core self-evaluation to increase rehabilitation outcomes, including career development and work.
Employment is central to one’s identity, sense of achievement, and the overall quality of life. This chapter explains how and why employment is central to an individual’s life. It defines career counseling and explains the role of the rehabilitation counselor in the career counseling process. The chapter describes the stages of change and interventions that are commonly used in the career-counseling process. The role of the rehabilitation counselor in the career-counseling process is critical in assisting individuals with disabilities as they navigate through their journey in the pursuit of competitive employment. Rehabilitation counselors who embrace an active role in addressing these concerns, which are often perceived as barriers by the individual with a disability, will have a greater chance of increasing their likelihood of successful outcomes and growth. Strategies to facilitate change as well as frameworks that are more conducive to the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities are introduced.
Job satisfaction is commonly conceptualized as an affective variable that results from an assessment of one’s job experiences. This chapter provides a brief overview of the theories and empirical research that have shaped our understanding of the job satisfaction construct. It presents an overview of the definition and measurement of job satisfaction, the consequences associated with job satisfaction, and its antecedents. The chapter discusses the research that focuses specifically on the job satisfaction of people with disabilities, including the unique challenges that they face and ideas for rehabilitation and career counselors, who help people with disabilities to find satisfying work. Individuals with disabilities have traditionally been overlooked as viable contributors to the workplace. Rehabilitation counselors have the enviable job of helping individuals overcome barriers, so that more people with disabilities might enjoy satisfying work—which leads to a host of positive outcomes—improving work lives, family life, and well-being.
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.
Poverty can be defined as economic deprivation. This chapter provides an explanation of the process through which a poor individual is at higher risk for acquiring a disability or chronic health problem. This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the connection between poverty and disability: poverty as a risk factor for disability; the impact of poverty-related psychological factors on career development and health; and the impact of social role devaluation on individuals who are poor and have a disability. The second part discusses how poverty and disability affect career counseling and job placement and what counselors can do to assist persons who are poor and disabled to make effective career decisions and obtain employment. The chapter enables the reader to implement counseling strategies that can ameliorate the impact of disability and poverty on career counseling and job placement.
Vocational rehabilitation (
VR) is a program and service that has been identified with the state–federal VRprogram for so many years that in the minds of many, the provided rehabilitation counseling service and the state–federal VRprogram are one and the same. This chapter discusses the roles of the rehabilitation counselor in private practice. It explains the areas of employment in vocational rehabilitation private practice and helps the reader differentiate the duties of a case manager from those of a vocational expert and those of a life care planner. The chapter discusses ethical considerations for the private practitioner and explains the litigation process in which private practitioners participate. The emerging opportunities are diverse and offer many new areas where experienced counselors can apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Many opportunities now exist in the area of private for-profit rehabilitation.