Employment Related Assessment, Counselling and Advice

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National Disability Service recently released Good Practice Guide to NDIS employment supports, https://www.nds.org.au/news/nds-releases-good-practice-guide-for-ndis-employment-supports

The employment support category of Employment Related Assessment and Counselling is defined as:

Employment-related assessment or counselling assists participants to successfully engage in work. It is intended to identify the person’s strengths and barriers to employment which will inform required employment supports. This support can include:

  • A vocational assessment
  • A functional assessment
  • Education and support for the participant, the employer and others in the workplace
  • Counselling when a participant’s disability prevents return to their previous occupation, or they have not previously engaged in employment.

Participants who could benefit from this type of support include those who need significant support to develop a new work pathway, for example:

  • Participants who have experienced traumatic injury, acquired a disability or need to change jobs or modify work requirements due to the impact of their disability.
  • Participants who have limited work experience or knowledge of work.

This support must be delivered by a suitably qualified professional such as a vocational counsellor, rehabilitation counsellor, occupational therapist or other health professional such as a speech pathologist for a person with significant communication difficulties”.

Rehabilitation Counsellors are often considered well-suited for conducting vocational assessments due to their specialised training, expertise, and focus on vocational rehabilitation. Here’s why they’re often seen as the best profession for this task:

  1. Specialized Training: Rehabilitation Counsellors undergo specific training in vocational assessment, career counselling, and job placement as part of their education and professional development. This specialised training equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct comprehensive vocational evaluations.
  2. Understanding of Disabilities and Functional Limitations: Many individuals seeking vocational assessments may have disabilities or functional limitations that impact their ability to work. Rehabilitation Counsellors have expertise in understanding the impact of disabilities on employment and can tailor assessments to account for these factors.
  3. Knowledge of Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Rehabilitation Counsellors have a deep understanding of vocational rehabilitation services and resources available to individuals with disabilities. They can provide guidance on vocational training programs, job placement services, and accommodations in the workplace.
  4. Ability to Address Psychological and Social Factors: Vocational assessments often involve exploring not just a person’s skills and abilities but also their interests, values, and personal circumstances. Rehabilitation Counsellors are trained to consider psychological, social, and environmental factors that may influence vocational choices and outcomes.
  5. Advocacy and Support: Rehabilitation Counsellors often serve as advocates for individuals with disabilities, helping them navigate barriers to employment and access needed support services. They can provide ongoing support and guidance throughout the vocational rehabilitation process.
  6. Legal and Ethical Considerations: Rehabilitation Counsellors are knowledgeable about relevant laws and regulations governing vocational rehabilitation, including disability rights and employment laws. They can ensure that vocational assessments are conducted in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of the individual.
  7. Collaborative Approach: Rehabilitation Counsellors often work collaboratively with other professionals, such as occupational therapists, vocational evaluators, and employment specialists, to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services. This interdisciplinary approach ensures that individuals receive holistic support tailored to their needs.

Overall, the combination of specialised training, expertise in vocational rehabilitation, and understanding of the complex factors influencing employment outcomes makes rehabilitation Counsellors well-suited for conducting vocational assessments and assisting individuals in achieving their vocational goals.