Improving Employment Outcomes through Quality Rehabilitation Counseling (QRC)

By Mullins, James; Roessler, Richard et al. | The Journal of Rehabilitation, October-December 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Improving Employment Outcomes through Quality Rehabilitation Counseling (QRC)

Mullins, James, Roessler, Richard, Schriner, Kay, Brown, Patricia, Bellini, James, The Journal of Rehabilitation

If any confusion ever existed about the primary goal of the state-federal rehabilitation system, it was cleared up in the 1992 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act. Competitive employment for people with disabilities is clearly the primary objective of rehabilitation services. To make this point unequivocally, legislators replaced the term "employability" in past amendments with the term "employment." Employability is no longer either an outcome or a prerequisite for rehabilitation services (Weber, 1994).

Along with an emphasis on employment, the 1992 Amendments mandate rehabilitation counselors to serve more people with severe disabilities. People with severe disabilities are deemed as individuals experiencing significant disability-related limitations in one or more life functions (Rubin & Roessler, 1995). This mandate comes at a time when funding for rehabilitation services is described, at best, as level or, more realistically, as shrinking when inflation is taken into account (Schriner, 1995).

To respond to the employment "mandate" in the 1992 Amendments, rehabilitation agencies are in the process of "reinventing" or "reengineering" their service delivery programs. In discussing changes needed in state agency programs, Jackson (1995) called for quality rehabilitation counseling services that result in increased employment outcomes and customer satisfaction (i.e., satisfaction of people with severe disabilities and employers). To define quality rehabilitation counseling (QRC), this investigation explored, in a qualitative analysis, the perceptions of 11 exemplary field counselors in vocational rehabilitation regarding the following issue: "What is Quality Rehabilitation Counseling (QRC), i.e., what do exemplary VR counselors do to help people with severe disabilities become employed?" Pertinent to provision of quality rehabilitation counseling, results from these interviews are organized in terms of the concurrent counseling model developed by Wachler and Lenox (1994).

Portraying the counseling process as discrete activities occurring simultaneously in varying degrees (Wachler & Lenox, 1994), the concurrent counseling model contrasts with the traditional stage model which depicts counseling as proceeding from initial counselor-client contact to termination in sequential steps. Rather than occur as a sequence, relationship building (e.g., establishing rapport), assessment (e.g., exploring, understanding, and defining problems/needs), goal setting (e.g., making decisions, setting goals), intervention (e.g., counseling, coordinating, and consulting), and termination (closing the case) occur throughout the counseling process. For example, relationship building and maintenance are important throughoUt counseling. Moreover, counselors and clients discuss issues related to successful termination in even the earliest phases of counseling. Hence, in addition to providing categories useful for presenting the observations of the 11 exemplary counselors, the concurrent counseling model underscores the fact that different phases of counseling are occurring throughout the engagement of counselor and client.


Using a qualitative research method (Heppner, Kivlighan, & Wampold, 1992; Hoshmand, 1989), this study focused on the insights of exemplary counselors (N=11) regarding factors that affect achievement of employment outcomes for people with severe disabilities. The methods of the present study were designed to discover questions, processes, and relationships rather than test them (Wolcott, 1990) and to enable the investigator to pursue patterns and theories as they emerged in the data (Marshall & Rossman, 1989).


The sample was theoretically derived (Miles & Huberman, 1994), i.e., selected in reference to a conceptual question rather than on the assumption of "representativeness." To address the question of what VR counselors do to meet the employment outcome mandate, researchers interviewed two types of exemplary counselors.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Improving Employment Outcomes through Quality Rehabilitation Counseling (QRC)


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?