Work is for Everyone: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

My name is April Lynch and I am a Vocational
Rehabilitation Counselor for Virginia Commonwealth University, Rehabilitation Research and Training
Center and I work in Richmond, Virginia. Virginia Commonwealth University, Rehabilitation
Research and Training Center is a place for individuals with disabilities to come and
receive employment services. It could be an individual with autism or a
mental health concern. It could be a physical disability or other
cognitive disabilities. We are about to go visit one of my clients
on their job site. We provide different types of employment services
which could be situational assessments, Job development services, Job site training. Each client’s case is very individualized
and depends on what in particular their support needs are. The goal really is for them to obtain long
term employment. ( Hey Reed, How’s it’s going. I’m good. Its good to see you.) When I first met Reed he might’ve been a
person who was nervous to first meet people. He’s a young man with autism spectrum disorder. What we did was a job carve customizing employment
for that individual. Based on their strengthens we created a production
associate position title. Where he is creating eco-friendly awards everyday. The fun part about this job is the day to
day is always different, it’s never a dull moment. For me it’s going around checking on my
clients at their different job sites, identify where they are at in their process, to see
if any additional support is needed. Another skill that Reed picked up quite quickly
in the beginning was assembling these boxes. Sometimes there might be additional teaching
that needs to occur I might them get that skill and master it. I brought in Reed they saw him in action,
they loved his precision, his attention to detail. The qualifications for being a Vocational
Rehabilitation Counselor having a bachelor’s degree is step one. What we typically like to do is have individuals
start part time, observe another counselor or coach going on to job sites working with
clients. In this job you really get to be a counselor
and a teacher. The skills you learn as an employment specialist
really allow you to look into the broad field of counseling. A guidance counselor in schools, special education
it’s just endless opportunities in this field. Some businesses weren’t open to Reed dancing
on a job site. But here we decided to let Reed show us some
of your moves. When going and talking to businesses you kind
of got to put your marketing hat on. We really want the business to know we really
want to give them a reliable employee and someone that’s going to be an asset to their
team. If you are someone that enjoys helping others
and giving back to your community, this is the job for you. I love my job as a Vocational Rehabilitation
Counselor, I really find this extremely rewarding. (Do you think you have more energy because
you enjoy this job, Yeah.) Everytime I walk in there Reed says “ I
love my job” and that is what keeps me going in this field.

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