This bill provides for the licensure of Rehabilitation Counselors by the NYS Department of Education. Approximately 9.1% of New Yorkers over the age of 18 have a disability. Many of these New Yorkers report difficulty finding a job or maintaining employment due to their health condition and/or disability. Governor Cuomo’s administration has repeatedly stressed that jobs and getting New Yorkers back to work are his top priority.
Licensure of Rehabilitation Counselors in the State of New York will ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the specialized services that they need to successfully return to the workforce. Rehabilitation Counselors are Masters educated professionals specifically trained to deliver those services.
- Rehabilitation Counselors are clinical experts in all aspects of disability and employment. We assist individuals with disabilities to overcome their physical, emotional, and psychosocial barriers in order to become gainfully employed and obtain greater self-sufficiency. Our services are delivered in private and public sectors. We work with various populations from the indigent to most affluent. A disability and unemployment can affect anyone at anytime.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) emphasizes the importance of providing individuals with disabilities accessible and appropriate rehabilitation services, including improving opportunities for productive employment. These opportunities should never be compromised through the use of un- qualified personnel who assume the title of “Rehabilitation Counselor” without the formal training and education that is required.
- Licensure of Rehabilitation Counselors will also generate continuous revenue for the state of New York through:
- Direct revenue via license application and renewal fees of current and future Rehabilitation Counselors and;
- Residual revenue by assisting individuals with disabilities transition from dependency to self-sufficiency and become contributing tax payers.
- Rehabilitation counselor services are provided to persons with disabilities of all ages for physical and mental disabilities or substance abuse disorders. One sector of rehabilitation counselor services reports: In a study conducted by NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services during State Fiscal Year 2009-2010, specialized interventions and services provided by trained Rehabilitation Counselors assisted 8,118 individuals with disabilities become employed. With additional specialized retention services provided by the Rehabilitation Counselors, 7,235 maintained employment for 90 or more days. Prior to employment, all these individuals were supported by public assistance and/or Medicaid benefits.
- 7,235 people employed for 90+ days @ $7.25 per hr. (min. wage only) for 8 hrs. per day, five days per week for 12 weeks, earned an estimated $ 25,177,800.
- At an income tax rate of 5.9%, an estimated $ 1,485,490 was paid to the state in tax revenue.
Current organizations that support this bill include: National Rehabilitation Association, AVRASA, NY Rehabilitation Counseling Association, Public Employee Federation, NYS ACCES-VR, the New York Chapter of International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals. Supporters of this bill includes thousands of Certified Rehabilitation Counselors in New York State, future Certified Rehabilitation Counselors, and the individuals we serve including children, veterans, and people with disabilities of all ages and versatile cultural groups.