Vocational Rehabilitation is a set of services offered to individuals with mental or physical disabilities to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining or returning to employment or other occupation. The services assists individuals to attain skills, resources, attitudes and expectation needed to compete in the interview process, get and keep employment. The services includes assessment, evaluation and identification of persons who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, vocational disability. We develop and execute vocational rehabilitation and return-to-work plans with the purpose to achieve vocational and avocational outcomes. As professionals working with persons with disabilities, we value independence and integration.
The Vocational Rehabilitation history is rich in both Canada and the United States; there is not one person in particular who can be credited, but many who devoted their lives to supporting individuals experiencing vocational challenges to overcome barriers and achieve their personal goals.
Vocational Rehabilitation services are used in many sectors such as vocational rehabilitation, employment training, college career guidance, workers’ compensation, personal injury, family and insurance law to name a few. This diversity of multidisciplinary origins only enhances the Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals eclectic skill set when assisting our clients to overcome health and employment barriers and live life fully. It is true that the Vocational Rehabilitation Profession is built on the best of theories, science and best practices of many fields.
With that said, if any one person is to be named, it is appropriate to call on Frank Parsons-social reformer (1854-1908). He is known as the father of Vocational Guidance or modern career counselling and is credited with the trait and factor theory. He believed that one must use accurate occupational information and essential job skills to compare with a client’s worker traits. Another equally important contributor is John Holland-Psychologist (1919-2008), who worked on Parsons theories and promoted that personality types suited different careers.