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Career Description

Rehabilitation counseling is a systematic process which assists persons with physical, mental, developmental, cognitive and addiction-based disabilities to achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals through counseling activities. The counseling process involves communication, goal setting, and facilitating personal growth or beneficial change through advocacy, psychological, vocational, social, and behavioral interventions.

Rehabilitation counselors help individuals deal with personal, interpersonal, and societal problems, plan careers, and find and maintain appropriate employment. Counselors work with individuals, organizations, and advocacy groups that address the environmental and social barriers that create obstacles for people with disabilities. They also collaborate with physicians, psychologists, therapists, and others in assisting rehabilitants in pursuing their vocational and independent living goals.

Because employment is a major problem of persons with disabilities, rehabilitation counselors work closely with employers and representatives of the business community to identify job opportunities and to make work environment more accommodating.

In effect, rehabilitation counselors build bridges between persons with disabilities and their families, communities, and work places. Although other health and human service providers serve persons with disabilities, it is rehabilitation counselors who are uniquely qualified to provide vocational guidance and adjustment counseling to them and their families.

Rehabilitation is committed to facilitating the independence, integration and inclusion of people with disabilities in the community, respecting the dignity and worth of all people. It is dedicated to promoting equal justice based on a model of accommodation. This includes providing and equalizing the opportunity to enjoy the rights and privileges afforded non-disabled Americans. Rehabilitation counselors are committed to supporting persons with disabilities in advocacy activities to enable them to empower themselves and achieve full citizenship.