The aging population is at a state of development that is not as focused on employment, and thus has difficulty finding its place in a society that defines people by their careers. Research is needed on the issues of aging workers, such as training needs, career transition issues, and retirement planning. Research is also needed on which accommodations, workplace modifications, and changes to policies and practices positively impact the retention and continued productivity of an aging workforce. Counselor practitioners are in a unique position to contribute to needed research design conceptualization, metrics, and analyses to test the multiplicity of interventions we will be exploring in the coming years to keep our aging workforce healthy and intellectually engaged in the employment environment. Counselors are experientially qualified to provide the needed services to keep this population productive and more fully engaged in their communities and continuing employment.
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Assistive technology (AT) has a profound impact on the everyday lives and employment opportunities of individuals with disabilities by providing them with greater independence and enabling them to perform activities not possible in the past. Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and motivation are described as central elements in increasing a consumer’s confidence and belief in self. Good outcomes and efficacy expectations, as well as strong motivation, help lead to successful adaptation to AT. This chapter presents the human component of technology, the relationship between consumers and technological devices/equipment, and the acceptance and use by consumers. It offers recommendations to assist rehabilitation professionals in helping consumers with accepting, utilizing, and benefiting from technology. There needs to be a close and appropriate fit between the technological device and consumer. Therefore, the need for the counselor to actively listen and engage the consumer in the process is essential to the effectiveness and outcome of AT success.
Accepting the handicapped person as a full human being means accepting him or her as having the full range of human needs. The location of institutions and the houses in which handicapped people can live becomes important because their location within communities enables participation of the handicapped in community offerings. Architectural barriers become an issue because their elimination enables people with a wide range of physical abilities to have access to events within buildings at large. The lives of handicapped people are inextricably a part of a much wider socioeconomic political and ethical society affecting the lives of all people. It is therefore essential for all of us to remain vigilant to protect and extend the hard-won gains of recent decades and to be ready to counter undermining forces. Vigilance requires thoughtful action guided by continuing reevaluation of the effectiveness of present efforts and alertness to needs of changing conditions.
This chapter offers (a) a description of the empathy fatigue construct as it relates to other professional fatigue syndromes, (b) a recently developed tool (Global Assessment of Empathy Fatigue [GAEF]) that may be useful for screening and identifying professionals who may be experiencing empathy fatigue, and (c) resources for self-care of empathy fatigue and building resiliency. The chapter’s author hypothesizes that empathy fatigue may be different from other types of counselor impairment and fatigue syndromes. The experience of empathy fatigue is both similar and different from other types of counselor impairment or professional fatigue syndromes. Thus, it is hypothesized that the cumulative effects of multiple client sessions throughout the week may lead to a deterioration of the counselor’s resiliency or coping abilities. Developing a clearer understanding of the risk factors associated with empathy fatigue is pivotal in developing self-care strategies for the professional counselor.
- Go to chapter: Religion and Disability: Clinical, Research, and Training Considerations for Rehabilitation Professionals
Religion and Disability: Clinical, Research, and Training Considerations for Rehabilitation Professionals
It is clear that laypersons, health professionals, and researchers are interested in addressing the importance of religion in society and in health care. However, if we are to use religion effectively to improve the health of individuals, there is a need to better educate current rehabilitation professionals and students about religion, to critically evaluate the existing literature on disability and religion, and to develop practical suggestions for rehabilitation professionals to appropriately use religion to promote positive health outcomes. Rehabilitation professionals need to collaborate with faith-based organizations to improve the physical and mental health of persons with disabilities, as well as their ability to reintegrate back into their communities. Such collaborations are particularly important given the resources that are available in most community churches (e.g., church vans, counseling services) to assist persons with disabilities with transportation and provision of social support.
The first experiences of supportive and social units come, most often, from the family. This chapter discusses the impact of disability on family by examining the reactions of family members to disability, factors that influence adjustment to disability in the family, adjustment models, parenting reaction perspectives, effective family coping, the impact of disability based on the family role of the person with a disability, and cultural influence on family adaptation to disability. It is important to assess family needs and support services so that the family does not become overwhelmed or feel isolated in their endeavors to assist their loved one and to integrate into the larger community. This involves understanding numerous differences in family reactions and functioning based on the resilience of the family, who in the family has the disability, the extent of the disability, the resources available, and cultural beliefs and practices.
The root causes of social injustice are in part centralized around wealth inequities, politicians, and legislation favoring the wealthy, discrimination, and a Darwinian mentality. This chapter explores the ramifications of social injustice in America focusing on those with disabilities. It discusses the ripple effect of poverty, oppression, and disability, and its subsequent deleterious impact for equitable treatment and opportunity. Beginning with prevalence statistics regarding poverty in general and disability specifically, the chapter segues into an exploration of the domino and vicious cycle effect of inequitable education, employment, health care, and health. The resulting psychosocial impact on minorities and those with disabilities is a reciprocal occurrence between these populations interfacing with an arguably apathetic societal and political populace. Finally, the chapter discusses a dialogue regarding the social justice counselor and strategies for counseling and advocating for this most ignored and disenfranchised population in America.
- Go to chapter: Giving Parents a Voice: A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Experienced by Parents of Children With Disabilities
Giving Parents a Voice: A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Experienced by Parents of Children With Disabilities
No other single individual or health care provider has more influence on the personal health and wellness of a child with a disability than the parent. To date, however, much research concerned with the well-being of parents of children with disabilities has not captured their experiences from the perspective of the parents themselves. Qualitative methods permit researchers to study selected issues in depth, and they produce a wealth of detailed information that increases understanding of the cases and situations studied. This chapter identifies specific sources of challenges related to raising a child with a disability as expressed by parents themselves. Specifically, it investigates the following research questions: (a) What are the principal stressors and challenges for parents of children with disabilities? and (b) What supports and services do parents identify as being needed to deal with the stress and challenges of their responsibilities?.
Rehabilitation counselors can begin to assist women with issues of abuse by acknowledging that advocacy and protection from abusive behavior are a priority for many women with disabilities. By routinely asking about abuse and addressing issues of safety and control during rehabilitation planning, counselors can provide valuable information, resources, and support that may help prevent abuse from occurring and assist women for whom abuse has occurred. To address abuse issues during rehabilitation, rehabilitation professionals have several responsibilities to (a) learn about violence by using available training related to abuse of people with disabilities; (b) employ universal screening as a routine client-intake procedure; (c) volunteer information, resources, and referrals to clients who are in danger or at risk of an abusive situation; (d) facilitate collaboration with domestic violence shelters to supply personal care services and replace medications and assistive devices left behind in an emergency situation.