"Reflective Professionals Building Learning Communities"


COUN 433: Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling


Name: Dr. Ken Currier, Ph.D., CRC
Office: CLS 4097
Phone number: (773) 442-5576 (office); (773) 588-1829 (home); (773) 213-4114 (cell)
E-mail: [email protected]; (preferred)


The purpose of this course is to provide students with the foundations of rehabilitation and the rehabilitation counseling profession. The course will introduce students to relevant aspects of rehabilitation history, philosophy, values, and practice, with an emphasis on the operational aspects of the rehabilitation service delivery system. The course will examine current issues, community resources, services, and the vocational rehabilitation process.


Graduate standing


Parker, R.M., Szymanski, E.M., & Patterson, J.B. (2005). Rehabilitation counseling: Basics and beyond. Austin, TX: ProEd, Inc. ISBN 0-89079-987

Currier, K. (2002). Writing and documentation guide. Unpublished manuscript: Emporia State University. [Provided at no charge electronically via email, disk, or from Blackboard site]


Riggar, T.F., & Maki, D.R. (2004). The handbook of rehabilitation counseling. New York: Springer Publishing.


Lecture/discussion, web-enhanced through Blackboard (Bb) software, group activities and individual exploration and observations.


The objectives of this course support the College of Education Performance Standards #1 Foundations and #13 Diversity. They are also designed to meet the CORE (Council on Rehabilitation Education) standard C.1.

1. The student will develop an understanding of the history, philosophy, and values of rehabilitation.

2. The student will become familiar with legislation affecting individuals with disability, their civil rights and enabling legislation that provides for benefits and services.

3. The student will gain an understanding of the organizational structure of the vocational rehabilitation system and independent living programs, including public, private non profit (community based agencies), private for profit service delivery systems, and employer focused disability management programs.

4. The student will obtain knowledge of the various community resources and services necessary and available to individuals with disability.

5. The student will acquire a working knowledge of the ethical and legal tenets of the rehabilitation counseling profession.

6. The student will become knowledgeable of the roles and functions a rehabilitation counselor performs in the public and private labor market and the emerging opportunities available to graduates.

7. The student will develop a healthy attitude, solid belief system and personal comfort level in working with people (consumers/clients) from diverse backgrounds and varying types and degrees of disability by challenging myths, exploring stereotypes, and guarding against stigmatization.

8. The student will understand the continuum of services in the rehabilitation process from referral to closure.

9. The student will become familiar with the various theoretical approaches to counseling and the psychosocial issues surrounding disability and adjustment.

10. The student will be familiar with the assessment process, individual evaluation and research issues appropriate to career development, rehabilitation, disability, and multiculturalism.

11. The student will gain knowledge of basic assistive technologies available to persons with disability.
12. The student will develop an understanding of advocacy and the unique needs of persons with disability.

13. The student will gain knowledge of the ecological perspective of rehabilitation.

14. The student will become familiar with APA style and format of research and report writing.

These objectives are linked to the following student outcomes: (each outcome is followed by its corresponding CORE Curriculum standard code)

1. practice rehabilitation counseling in a legal and ethical manner, adhering to the scope of practice for the profession; C.1.1

2. integrate into one's practice, the history and philosophy of rehabilitation as well as the laws affecting individuals with disabilities including findings, purposes, and policies in current legislation; C.1.2

3. describe, in general, the organizational structure of the rehabilitation, education, and healthcare systems, including public, private for profit, and not for profit settings; C.1.3

4. apply in one's practice the laws and ethical standards affecting rehabilitation counseling in problem-solving and ethical decision making; C1.4

5. integrate into practice an awareness of societal issues, trends, public policies and developments as they relate to rehabilitation; C.1.5

6. create a partnership between consumer and counselor by collaborating in informed consumer review, choice, and personal responsibility in the rehabilitation process; C.1.6

7. apply in one's practice, the principles of disability related legislation including the rights of persons with disabilities to independence, inclusion, choice and self determination, empowerment, access, and respect for individual differences; C.1.7

8. identify and demonstrate an understanding of stereotypic views toward persons with disabilities and the negative effects of these views on successful completion of the rehabilitation process; C.1.8

9. educate the public and consumers regarding the rights of people with disabilities under federal and state law; C.1.9

10. articulate the differences in philosophy and the purposes of related counseling disciplines and allied health fields; C.1.10 11. explain differences among certification, licensure, and accreditation. C.1.11


Students are required to submit reports on rehabilitation counseling practice, provide a written report on an observational experience in rehabilitation, and successfully complete quizzes, examinations, and Blackboard-based activities Assignments satisfy the performance-based assessment component of the course.


Examinations 2 @ 50 each 100 points
Community Resource, Observation & Reports 100 points
Five Journal Article Reviews @ 20pts each 100 points
Blackboard Activities 100 points
Total 400 points

1. Examinations will be multi formatted, involving multiple choice, listing, matching, short answer/essay, and definitions. The student/examinee may bring 3 x 5 index card as "crib notes" or reference.

2. Community Resource Reports (see form at end of syllabus): Students are to research the variety of services and resources that are available to individuals with disability and their families in the Illinois and the regional (Midwest) community. These reports should cover such areas as restorative/prosthetic/orthotic care, community mental health services, psychosocial rehabilitation programming (e.g. Thresholds), personal and family counseling, home health care/personal care assistants, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Community based programming for various populations (DD/MR, physical, cognitive, sensory, psychiatric), cultural centers serving specific ethnic/cultural groups (e.g. Asian Human Services, Howard Brown), transportation, housing, support groups, substance abuse treatment, therapy or restorative care (e.g. occupational/ physical/speech therapy), home modification, durable medical equipment (e.g. wheelchair), pain management, assessment (vocational, situational, psychological), social services (e.g. benefits such as SSI/SSDI, food stamps), and assistive technology services. These community resources should be existing facilities or an agency within a one day's driving distance from your home. Use of the Internet is encouraged but, at a minimum, the student should place a personal phone call to ascertain additional information and contact person(s).

3. Professional Journal Article Reviews: The student is to review five articles from professional journals (earlier than 1990 or by approval) on topic(s) discussed in this course. All submitted written work is to follow American Psychological Association Publication Manual guidelines (APA, 2001). An instruction sheet will be provided. The student should obtain a personal copy of the APA Publication Manual, 5th edition (2001). The purpose of the project is to familiarize oneself with a topic of interest and begin the process of developing research skills and professional writing in the style of the American Psychological Association (APA).

4. Blackboard (Bb) Activities will involve interactive postings of observations, comments, or views on a variety of issues in rehabilitation counseling. These are brief postings on the “Discussion Board” within the Blackboard website responding to activities or readings that the instructor assigns relating to the topic at that time. Responses of others should be read and responded to. Individual postings are generally only to be two or three paragraphs in length.

NOTE: The thoughtful student may conclude that the tasks in this course may be integrated for a more in-depth study of rehabilitation. The tasks of reporting on a community resource, observing services in a community setting, and the research paper may be coordinated and integrated. For example, a student interested in psychiatric rehabilitation (working with people with severe and persistent mental illness) may identify a community resource serving persons with mental illness, visit the facility obtaining information regarding their services and ask about literary references and resources, then research and gather professional literature on the topic (journal articles, books), and submit a research reporting on the general area of psychiatric rehabilitation. Other areas that my covered may include (but are not limited to): developmental disability services (Chicago ARC is a good agency to visit), phsysical disability (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), Visual Impairments (the Lighthouse), or the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (formerly ORS now DRS or “the Division” for a wider population served.


A = 90-99% of total points D = 60-69% of total points
B = 80-89% of total points F = below 60% of total points
C = 70-79% of total points


Assessment of learning begins in the initial class session and is on going throughout the course. Data from the specific assessment tools will be analyzed and the results used to improve instruction and facilitate increased student learning. This feedback may be used to make adjustments in the course as it progresses and to implement future changes.


In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Northeastern Illinois University does not discriminate against employees or students on the basis of disability. In addition, the University provides reasonable accommodations for both employees and students with disabilities. Students seeking reasonable accommodations in the classroom should contact the Accessibility Center/HELP Office, A 118 (phone 773/442 5495, 5496, or 5497; TDD 773/442 5499).

The University policy on services for students with disabilities may be found at Students should feel free to meet with the instructor at any time to discuss any reasonable accommodations or removal of barriers that may hinder full inclusion and participation in the course.


All students are expected to attend all class meetings and to submit assigned materials by the due date. Students are expected to conduct themselves professionally and ethically, respecting individual differences, needs, opinions, and the confidentiality of others. Attendance is vital to learning success.


Week Topic Activities/Tasks

Week 1
Aug 30
Introduction and Orientation
Defining Disability & Rehabilitation
Video: Without Pity: A Film About Abilities

Assignment: Send Dr. Currier an email and request Electronic Version of Writing and Documentation Guide; Enroll in Bb site for this course; Familiarization of Bb website; Read Chapters 1 & 2 in the text
Practice Bb Activity

Week 2
Sept 6 The Profession of Rehabilitation Counseling;
Philosophy, History, & Legislation Readings:
Parker, Szymanski, & Patterson Chapters 1 & 2 Explore website on Legislative History of Rehabilitation (see “External Links” on Bb site)

Week 3
Sept 13 Service delivery systems:
Parker, Szymanski, & Patterson Chapter 3;
Bb Activity #1

Week 4
Sept 20
Qualifications & Credentialing & Licensure
Video: King Gimp Readings:
Parker et al., Chapter 4;
Journal Article Review #1 Due

Week 5
Sept 27
Rehabilitation Counseling Theories
Parker et al., Chapter 5;
Livneh & Sherwood article (on Bb under “Course Documents”)
Community Resource Report #1 Due

Week 6
Oct 4 Rehabilitation Counseling Practice and Interventions; Case Management;
Review and study for Midterm Readings: Chapter 6
Journal Article Review #2 due

Week 7
Oct 11
Midterm Examination

Week 8
Oct 18 Psychosocial Impact of Disability;
Guest Speaker
Readings: Chapter 7
Comm. Resource Rpt #2 Due
Journal Article Review #3

Week 9
Oct 25 Career Development of PWD Readings: Chapter 8
Bb Activity #2

Week 10
Nov 1
Work & Disability Readings:
Chapter 9
Journal Article Review #4 Due

Week 11
Nov 8
Psychological Assessment
Chapter 10
Handouts on Technology
Bb Activity #3

Week 12
Nov 15
Rehabilitation Research;
Assistive Technology
Technology Readings: Chapter 11 &12
Internet: Journal Article Review #5 Due

Week 13
Nov 22 Assistive Technology
Field Trip (TBD) Chapter 13
To be Announced

Week 14
Nov 29
Substance Abuse & Dual Diagnosis (Co-Occurring Disorders) To be announced
Week 15
Dec 6 Review & Final Examination


Bowe, F. (2000). Physical, sensory, and health disabilities: An introduction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Chan, F., & Leahy, M.J. (Eds.). (In press). Health care and disability case management. Lake Zurich, IL: Vocational Consultants Press.

Cottone, R.R., & Tarvydas, V.M. (1998). Ethical and professional issues in counseling. Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice-Hall.

Currier, K.F., Chan, F., Berven, N.L., Habeck, R.M., & Taylor, D. (2001). Function and knowledge domains for disability management practice: A Delphi Study. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 44(3), 133 143.

Eisenberg, M.G. (Ed.). (1994). Key words in psychosocial rehabilitation: A guide to contemporary usage. New York: Springer Publishing.

Hablutzel, N., & McMahon, B.T. (1992). The Americans with Disabilities Act: Access and accommodation: Guidelines for human resources, rehabilitation, and legal professions. Orlando, FL: Paul M. Deutsch Press.

Livneh, H., & Sherwood, A. (1991). Application of personality theories and counseling strategies to clients with physical disabilities. Journal of Counseling & Development, 69, 525 538.

Maki, D.R., & Riggar, T.F. (Eds.). (1997). Rehabilitation counseling: Profession and practice. New York: Springer Publishing.

Rubin, S.E., & Roessler, R.T. (2001). Foundations of vocational rehabilitation process (5th Ed.). Austin: Pro Ed.

Smart, J. (2000). Disability, society, and the individual. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers.

Trieschmann, R.B. (1987). Aging with a disability. New York: Demos Publication.

Wright, B.A. (1983). Physical disability: A psychosocial approach (2nd Ed.). New York: Harper & Row.

Wright, G. N. (1980). Total rehabilitation. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.


Agency/Support Group:

Contact Person, Title/Position:

Telephone Email Website



Geographical Area(s) served (i.e., “encatchment area”):

Disability Population(s) served:

Services Provided:

Referral (Incoming) sources (from where do their clients come?):

What is the Referral Process:

Eligibility Criteria (what is necessary or prerequisite for obtaining services):

Fee Structure: (sliding scales, Medicaid/Medicare, Insurance, Fee for Service, and Rates:

Interacting agencies (are there other program/agencies that are closely tied?)

Funding Sources:

Last modified: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 06:21 PM