Vocational Rehabilitation in the COVID-19 Era: The Importance of Supervision

Allison Levine, Phillip D. Rumrill, Christina Espinosa, Kathy Sheppard-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The rehabilitation counseling profession, as an essential career, has been facing unforeseen and unprecedented complications as a result of the coronavirus-19 pandemic. As practitioners were required to begin completing their work virtually or using telehealth modalities, it became apparent that may be gaps in preparation for such a shift. It is as yet unknown what implication these changes have on employment rates of people with disabilities, in addition to other markers for independence (e.g., independent living). Implications of the sudden shift to virtual practice are especially of interest following the changes to the comprehensive system of personnel development legislated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reauthorization of 2014. Decreased educational requirements may lead vocational rehabilitation (VR) employees to navigate a national crisis without the essential knowledge domains required for qualified provider status. The current study asked VR personnel to indicate their comfort and preparedness in various areas, in light of the pandemic and virtual service provision (N = 88). Items were assessed at three levels: Counselor, Agency, and Client. Taken together, the results indicate that the sample feels able to maintain evidence-based services, and that supervisors have been regularly available during this uncertain time. Implications for rehabilitation researchers, supervisors, and educators are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2022.


  • career/vocational
  • counseling
  • rehabilitation counseling process or strategies
  • stress and coping
  • supervision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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