Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors’ Perception of Assistive Technology/Rehabilitation Technology
Type of DegreeDissertation
Rehabilitation and Special Education
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Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors are not providing adequate Assistive Technology/Rehabilitation Technology (AT/RT) to individuals with significant disabilities (Gamble et al., 2006). Rehabilitation professionals have identified AT/RT as an area in which more training is needed, and the provision of AT/RT education will likely lead to more effective rehabilitation counseling services and outcomes (Estrada-Hernandez, Wheaton, Dawson, & Krispinsky, 2007). However, there is a lack of information related to VR counselors’ confidence in their ability to identify and provide AT/RT services and equipment, perceptions of AT/RT, and perceptions of AT/RT training needs. This research study identified counselors’ confidence in their ability to identify and provide AT/RT services and equipment, counselor perceptions of AT/RT, and their perceptions of their AT/RT training needs as measured by the Rehabilitation Technology Counselor Survey (RTCS). Forty (VR) counselors employed by one large state VR program located in the southeast region of the United States completed the online survey. A majority of the VR counselors were female and between the ages of 23 to 55 and older. Results for the first null hypothesis show a statistically significant difference in counselor confidence in identifying and providing AT/RT services for counselors who perceive AT/RT as part of their role and those who do not, F (1, 38) =26.64, p = .000. The Levene’s test for equal variances showed no statistically significant difference on the dependent variable for those counselors who viewed AT/RT activities as part of their role and those who did not. Due to the study participants being employed by only one state VR agency, the results cannot be assumed to reflect the population of all VR counselors serving individuals with disabilities. More research is needed to better understand the perceptions, role, and confidence level VR counselors have regarding AT/RT services and equipment.