RCEA Announces National Rehabilitation Counselors Appreciation Day March 9, 2008

March 04, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
ALEXANDRIA, VA – March 5, 2008 – The Rehabilitation Counselors & Educators Association (RCEA), a division of the National Rehabilitation Association, has announced the first annual National Rehabilitation Counselors Appreciation Day March 9, 2008.

The event marks the anniversary of Senate Resolution 120, which established the special day to honor the profession. Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with the personal, social and vocational effects of disabilities, regardless of cause.

RCEA is encouraging persons with disabilities to call and thank the rehabilitation counselor who made a difference in their recovery to draw attention to the profession.

“Nearly one in five Americans lives with some type of long lasting condition or disability that requires extensive rehabilitation,” says Dru Fentem, RCEA president. “Understanding the work of the rehabilitation counselor, and how they can help, is essential.”

The duties of rehabilitation counselors vary tremendously, from providing assessments and coordinating rehabilitation plans to evaluating reports from physicians or helping a person with return to work-related issues. Rehabilitation counselors are employed in private practice, by community health organizations and hospitals, and in state and federal government positions.

“We tell our clients that what counts is where you are now compared with where you were five minutes after your injury or accident,” explains Fentem, a rehabilitation counselor with the Georgia Department of Labor – Rehabilitation Services. “That’s the only way to gauge progress.”

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 both the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars.

Rehabilitation professionals will meet nationally from March 9 – 11 at the National Rehabilitation Association’s Annual Legislative Summit in Alexandria, Virginia. Position papers regarding the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, legislative strategies and advocacy are key issues.

The Rehabilitation Counselors & Educators Association (RCEA), a division of the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA), strives to advance the profession of rehabilitation counseling through education, conferences and publications. RCEA has more than 700 members across the country. For additional information contact Dru Fentem at (404) 486-6364.