CEP 870
Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling
Fall 2006

Instructors: Michael J. Leahy, Ph.D., LPC, CRC Office hours: By appoint. 463 Erickson Hall Class: Tuesday, 7-10 PM
432-0605 Location: 106 Bessey hall

Steve Zanskas, M.S., LPC, CRC
455 Erickson Hall
zansk[email protected]

A. Course Goal and Objectives

To provide a survey of the foundations of rehabilitation counseling which introduces the student to relevant aspects of rehabilitation history, philosophy, values, and practice, with an emphasis on the operational aspects of the rehabilitation service delivery system. Further objectives include the examination of current issues, community resources, services and processes, and an introduction to the profession of rehabilitation counseling and related rehabilitation specializations.

B. Competencies

Through formal lectures, assigned readings, class activities and discussion, the student will, at a minimum, develop knowledge competencies in the following areas:

1. History, philosophy and values of rehabilitation, and legislation affecting persons with disabilities.

2. The organizational structure of the vocational rehabilitation system and independent living programs, including public, private non-profit and private-for-profit service delivery systems.

3. Knowledge of community resources and services.

4. Legal and ethical tenants for the practice of rehabilitation counseling.

5. Rehabilitation counselor (and related specializations) role and functions with persons with disabilities in a variety of service delivery settings.

C. Topics, Assignments and Activities

Session 1: August 29 (ML)

• Course orientation and introductions.
• Basic foundations of the field.
• Overview of the rehabilitation delivery system and the profession of
rehabilitation counseling.
• Changing disability and rehabilitation models and approaches.

Readings: Handouts from instructor.

Session 2: September 5 (ML)

• Historical development of rehabilitation practice.
• Enabling legislation and policy development affecting the public and private
sectors of rehabilitation.

Readings: Chapter 1-2 (1-86), Rubin & Roessler.

Session 3: September 12 (SZ)

• Contemporary legislation in rehabilitation.
• The impact of new legislation on the practice of rehabilitation counseling.

Readings: Chapters 3 (87-131), Rubin & Roessler; Chapter 3 (50-75) Riggar & Maki

Session 4: September 19 (SZ)

Current legislation and policy issues affecting persons with disabilities and rehabilitation counseling practice

Readings; Chapter 5 (88-107) Riggar & Maki
Handouts from instructor.

Session 5: September 26 (ML & SZ)

• Philosophical foundations.
• Sociological aspects of disability
• Ethical issues in the delivery of rehabilitation services

Readings: Chapters 4-6 (133-202), Rubin & Roessler; Chapter 6 (108-141) Riggar & Maki

Session 6: October 3 (ML & SZ)

• Professional roles and competencies of the rehabilitation counselor and
related specializations in rehabilitation.
• Professional identity, credentials and professional organizations.
• Research & Research utilization.

Readings: Chapter 7 (142-158) Riggar & Maki; Chapter 8 (251-266), Rubin & Roessler.

Session 7: October 10 (ML)

• Characteristics and needs of persons served.
• Psychosocial impact of disability.
• Consumers: Individuals and Families

Readings: Chapter 7 (203-249), Rubin & Roessler; Chapter 2 (25-49), Riggar & Maki

Session 8: October 17 (SZ)

• Mid-semester examination.

Session 9: October 24 (ML)

• Review of mid-semester examination results.
• Introduction to the rehabilitation process and alternative approaches.
• Assessment and planning stages.
• Accommodations, interventions, services and placement.

Readings: Chapter 9 & 10 (267-343) and 13 (197-213), Rubin & Roessler; Chapters 9-12 (171-235), Riggar & Maki.

Session 10: October 31 (SZ)

• Non-profit community-based rehabilitation organizations, centers and facilities.
• Origin, development and current practices and services.
• Supported employment and projects with industry.
• Rehabilitation counseling practice in the non-profit sector.

Readings: Chapter 11 (345-374), Rubin & Roessler

Session 11: November 7 (ML)

• Public Sector Rehabilitation
• State-Federal Rehabilitation Program (organization, structure, services).
• Rehabilitation counseling practice in the public program.

Readings: Handouts from the instructor and guest lecturer.

Session 12: November 14 - No class, Michigan Rehabilitation Conference

Session 13: November 21 (SZ)

• Rehabilitation services in the private sector.
• Workers' compensation and auto no fault legislation - impact on practice.
• Disability management in employer based organizations.
• Rehabilitation counseling practice in private settings.

Readings: Chapter 16 (475-495), Rubin & Roessler, Chapter 13 (236-251), Riggar & Maki; Handouts from instructor.

Session 14: November 28 (ML & SZ)

• Independent living goals, services, delivery systems and issues.
• Rehabilitation counseling practice in independent living.
• Current challenges and issues.
• Technology and accommodation issues in rehabilitation practice.
• Resources for solutions to functional issues.
• Rehabilitation counselor skills in applying accommodations for vocational and independent living outcomes.

Readings: Chapters 13 - 15 (401-474), Rubin & Roessler; Chapter 15 (271-288) Riggar & Maki; Handouts from instructor.

Session 15: December 5 (ML)

• Case and caseload management
• Transition from school to work (programs, issues and strategies).
• The potential for rehabilitation counseling practice in school systems.
• The future of rehabilitation counseling and critical issues facing the profession.
• International rehabilitation.
• Course wrap-up review.

Readings: Chapter 14 (252-270) Riggar & Maki. Handouts from Instructor.

Final Examination: Tuesday, December 12, from 8:00-10:00

D. Field Experience/Work Project


Students are required to select and make two site visits to rehabilitation agencies, facility's or firms which they are currently not familiar with in order to expand their knowledge of these types of organizations and the role they play in the rehabilitation process. Students are required to write and submit a paper that describes the visits that include at least the following information: (1) mission of the agency; (2) characteristics of the population served; (3) types of rehabilitation problems addressed by the organizations; (4) services provided to address these problems; (5) types of financial support; (6) roles and characteristics of the professional staff; (7) interagency collaboration; and (8) your impressions of the agency. Due: November 7.

E. Materials and Resources

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

Required: Riggar, T.F., & Maki, D.R. (Eds.) (2004). Handbook of rehabilitation counseling. Springer Publishing Co.

Optional: Parker, R.M. & Szymanski (Ed). (2005). Rehabilitation counseling: Basics and beyond (4th ed.). Austin: Pro-Ed.

F. Evaluation Criteria

• Mid term examination 40%
• Field experience report 20%
• Final Exam 40%

G. Academic Honesty Policy:

Academic honesty is expected of all students. Students are expected to work to the best of their abilities and to submit their own work. Students must give appropriate credit to ideas borrowed from other sources. University policy states that, “academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, may result in a zero grade in the course and removal from the program”.

H. Electronic mail and ANGEL system:

Throughout the semester, course documents (i.e. course syllabus) will be posted on the ANGEL system. Students will be able to access this information 24/7 from locations outside of the regular classroom. You are responsible to check Angel and your email routinely to obtain class updates, schedule changes, and assignment changes. These are your vital links to the course. In-class announcements will be made to alert students to ANGEL postings.

I. Special Accommodations:

Students requiring special accommodations over the course of the semester, including classroom accommodations, alternative learning strategies, and alternative test-taking methods need to contact the instructors during the first two weeks of the semester so that the necessary arrangements can be made. Students requiring accommodations are also encouraged to register with MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Last modified: Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 08:27 AM