Rehabilitation Counselors Career Video
Description: Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, aging, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.
Getting a job and living independently are vital goals for many people who have disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors help individuals who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities to overcome barriers to employment or independent living. After developing a treatment plan for a client, they arrange for services such as medical care or career training, and find resources like wheelchairs or assistive technology. Rehab counselors may work with students to develop strategies to complete their education and transition to work. Some help veterans cope with the physical or mental effects of their military service. Others help elderly clients reconnect with activities and a lifestyle they enjoyed before an illness. Vocational rehabilitation counselors specialize in helping working-age clients deal with employment issues. Rehabilitation counselors are advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, and often work with employers to understand the abilities of their clients, as well as explaining laws related to hiring and accommodating disability in the workplace. Rehab counselors also provide consultation for legal issues around the impact of injuries on work activities. Typical work settings include community rehabilitation centers, nursing homes or senior centers, and youth guidance organizations. Some positions require evening or weekend hours. Rehabilitation counselors generally need a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. Some positions require certification or a license.