Evaluation of competencies in the field of vocational rehabilitation and the employment of persons with disabilities

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Abstract

For decades, employment of a person with disabilities has been considered a key indicator of the success of vocational rehabilitation. There is a link between the quality of vocational rehabilitation and a better quality of life for service users; these services have a significant impact on efficiency in the field of work. Very few authors have researched the qualification and skills of rehabilitation experts essential for successfully carrying out their professional activities. The objective of the present study was to investigate the perceived importance attached to the competencies of vocational rehabilitation professionals and the frequency of their application at work in three different countries, which was conducted using a questionnaire that was prepared on the basis of a questionnaire designed by Australian researchers. Basic competencies comprise four sets: vocational counselling, professional practice, personal counselling and rehabilitation case management. Special competencies are composed of two sets: workplace disability case management and workplace intervention and programme management. The questionnaire was completed by 131 respondents, of whom 61 were from Slovenia, 34 were from Austria and 36 were from the UK. t-Tests for two independent samples (sex), analysis of variance (type of education, country) and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were used to compare the perception of basic and special competencies. The respondents perceived personal counselling, vocational counselling and management of rehabilitation cases as being the most important, whereas the least importance was assigned to interventions. In practice, the respondents used personal counselling most frequently and very few interventions.

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