Helping People with Disabilities to Work

Californians Recognize Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day

For Immediate Release

DATE: March 20, 2009
CONTACT: Jennifer Benson
PHONE: 916-558-5874

SACRAMENTO The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) joins disability organizations nationwide in recognizing March 22 as National Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day. DOR is the largest employer of vocational rehabilitation counselors in California, using the services of approximately 800 professional counselors statewide.

"All individuals with disabilities deserve to work with highly trained and motivated vocational rehabilitation professionals on their employment goals," said DOR Director Tony Sauer. "Our qualified rehabilitation counselors and associated qualified vocational rehabilitation personnel are among the very best. We honor them for their selfless service over the years to individuals with disabilities."

"With many wounded veterans returning home to California with significant disabilities, there is a growing need for professionals in the field to have the expertise, experience, and determination to do this challenging and rewarding work," Sauer added. DOR's counselors currently serve 120,000 people with disabilities annually, including wounded military personnel.

Yearly, Congress designates March 22 as National Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day by the request of the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). In recognition of the day, DOR is encouraging persons with disabilities and their family members to take a few moments to call and thank the rehabilitation counselor who made a difference in their lives. They can visit to find their local DOR office phone number.

There are approximately 141,000 rehabilitation counselors in the United States, according to the US Bureau of Labor & Statistics. That number is expected to grow rapidly as medical advances help people survive serious injury or illness, including veterans returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq.