First and foremost
is the Rehabilitation Counselor. Rehabilitation Counselors
work one-on-one to help people of all ages with physical, emotional or
learning disabilities discover their potential as independent, self-sufficient
citizens. It is a challenging job that often requires creativity and vision
to see possibilities where others see only problems. It’s a good
choice for someone with high energy who wants to make a very real and
measurable difference in the lives of others.
The foundation of rehabilitation counseling is one of empowerment in which
individuals exercise control over their own lives. The goal of the Rehabilitation
Counselor is to assist people with disabilities in achieving maximum psychological,
social, vocational and economic independence, which empowers them to enhance
the quality of their lives to their fullest capacity. Rehabilitation counseling
focuses on the whole person, including family, work and social relationships
as well as physical and psychological aspects.
It is the Rehabilitation Counselor who pulls all of the other available
services and resources together. The Rehabilitation Counselor’s
role includes personal counseling and guidance, individual assessment,
evaluation of medical and psychological reports, vocational guidance,
job placement, and working with individuals and organizations to eliminate
environmental and social barriers for people with disabilities.
Rehabilitation Counselors may work for state vocational rehabilitation
agencies, social service organizations, independent living centers, alcohol
and drug programs, mental health centers, or community or private non-profit
rehabilitation programs. Many go on to teach in universities, preparing
undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in vocational
Rehabilitation Counselors are required to hold a master’s degree
in rehabilitation counseling. Most educational programs require 18 months
to two years of academic course work and 600 hours of supervised clinical
experience. Many master’s programs offer a student stipend plus
support for payment of student fees and tuition.
Many doctoral programs offer student stipend support as well. A doctorate
in rehabilitation counseling is a necessary qualification for those who
intend to remain in teaching or administration of rehabilitation training
programs in higher education.
Upon completion of an approved internship and satisfactory performance
on the certification exam, graduates of accredited master’s degree
programs in rehabilitation counseling are eligible for certification by
the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), obtaining
the credential of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). This certification
is standard for employment in the rehabilitation field. Many states also
offer certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Rehabilitation Counselors are in high demand nationwide. Many recognized
experts in the field predict that this demand will increase during the
next several years. In addition to positions that are available in the
federal, state and local government programs, a growing number of rehabilitation
programs in the private sector hire Rehabilitation Counselors.
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out more about Vocational Rehabilitation
(Excerpts from the
Careers in Vocational Rehabilitation Booklet)
makes a good rehabilitation professional?
Preparing for a Career in Vocational Rehabilitation
Questions about a Career in Vocational Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind
or Have Vision Impairments
Orientation and Mobility Specialists
Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment
Work Adjustment Specialists
Job Development and Placement Specialists
Rehabilitation of Individuals who are Deaf or Hard
Deafness Rehabilitation Professionals
Interpreters for Deaf Individuals
Undergraduate Education in the Rehabilitation
Other Vocational Rehabilitation Professions
Rehabilitation Medicine, Physiatrists, Rehabilitation Nurses
Prosthetics & Orthotics
Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
their first job experiences, I want to keep them on the job and help them
be successful there. In the long run, I want to see them in an occupation
that they really enjoy and that meets their future financial needs and
goals," Randy said..