Emerging vocational rehabilitation strategies for people with diabetes mellitus

Phillip D. Rumrill, Beatrice Lee, Deborah Minton, Malachy L. Bishop, Lynn C. Koch, Cassidy Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: People with diabetes mellitus constitute an emerging vocational rehabilitation (VR) consumer population. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this article is to (a) describe the characteristics and needs of Americans with diabetes mellitus, (b) examine the often devastating effects that this highly prevalent disease of the endocrine system has on employment and career development, and (c) suggest strategies that rehabilitation professionals can use to improve VR services and outcomes. METHOD: Following an overview of the etiology, incidence, prevalence, and impact of this high incidence endocrinological disease, the authors present strategies to meet the service and support needs of Americans with diabetes mellitus across the phases of the VR process. RESULTS: The importance of individualized case planning, employer consultation, workplace accommodations, interface with medical and mental health professionals, and adherence to self-care and symptom management regimens is emphasized throughout the article. CONCLUSION: Diabetes mellitus is an emerging disability that can affect people of any age, one that disproportionally affects people of color and people who live in poverty. Rehabilitation professionals must be prepared to meet the service needs of this growing clientele.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-759
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The contents of this article were developed, in part, under a grant, the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment, H264K200003, from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 - IOS Press. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • VR
  • employment
  • rehabilitation
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Emerging vocational rehabilitation strategies for people with diabetes mellitus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this