Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) says that a disabled person’s impairment has substantial long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

A disability of any kind may lead to loss in physical, sensory, or mental faculties and often people with disabilities find it difficult to overcome environmental, economic, and social/attitudinal roadblocks. All this can result in psychological stress. The source of stress sometimes comes from “inside” the person i.e. how the person feels about his condition and sometimes comes from “outside” the person i.e. how the other people around him think or feel about the person’s disability.

If one faces physical restrictions, then one may come to believe that something is wrong oneself and experience self-hatred and lowered self esteem. But if the proper facilities enable movement and acceptance on the part of society, then it would be easier to fight one’s challenges, physical or otherwise.

Those with disabilities need to be taught self-determination, self-awareness, decision making, goal-setting and negotiation skills, which can enable them to have more control over themselves and their conditions. They should learn to value their own skills and their own self. The counsellor admires their strengths that come from their own unique qualities, and helps them to recognize and respect their rights and responsibilities.
Their expectations with regard to future actions can be fulfilled only through the counselling process.

Those with some kind of disability are sometimes rendered powerless and are often marginalized due their limitations especially in places where there is lack of empathy and awareness. Disabilities leave them with less marketable skills and independent functioning abilities. They are underemployed, especially in the developing world and often fail to develop a consistent and differentiated personality pattern with a clear vocational identity.

Sometimes their career choice does not match their abilities or experiences because of the unrealistic vocational aspirations. There is need for counselling due to loneliness of a social and emotional kind, severely demeaning experiences which increase the risk depression and other mental health issues. This can be represented by a simple equation –

Lack of Information + Lack of Exposure= FEAR

Rehabilitation Vocational Counselling helps those with disabilities to know about the various kinds of vocations they can be involved in. Moreover it tells them about the various facilities regarding education and career opportunities offered by the government and semi governmental agencies. Rehabilitation Counselling aims at assisting people with disabilities to achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals through a counselling process. Such counsellors can be found in private practice, in rehabilitation facilities, universities, schools, government agencies, insurance companies and other organizations where people are being treated for congenital or acquired disabilities with the goal of going to or returning to work.

For increasing empowerment opportunities, VRC tries to help those with disabilities  set goals for themselves. The counsellor-client relationship helps in providing those choices and helping them to become self determined.  People with disabilities should have control over the processes and services that affect their lives. They are encouraged to act and are taught to deal with conflict and criticism. Thus professional intervention helps them in overcoming many barriers.

The aim should be to achieve meaningful employment for those with disabilities. The counselling process helps them to know their values, interests and characteristics and evaluating the availability of resources and alternatives present in the industry. It is a process of listening, communicating and analyzing information allowing a bias to operate.

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling involves a process of choice making with the following elements:

  • Analysis of needs and wants
  • Information gathering
  • Information evaluation
  • Presenting various alternatives
  • Help the counselee to explore his needs and potentialities
  • Helping the client to make a choice about the relevant occupation
  • Preparing them mentally to face failure
  • Making them self determined to take responsibility of their decisions
  • Result evaluation

Vocational Rehabilitation counsellor facilitates and maximizes opportunities for individuals with disabilities to have control and authority over their own lives. The counselee becomes active, well informed and learns to control a planning process which can be use for short-and long-term career development. Thus a well organised vocational information would help and encourage the counselee to choose a career and face problems of vocational adjustment, vocational persuasion etc.

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