What is Employment Rehabilitation?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 March 2020
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Employment rehabilitation is a type of rehab that helps clients stay employed or prepares them to find new sources of work. Employment rehabilitation programs are often sponsored by the government as a method of helping disabled people and recovering drug addicts return to the workforce to become contributing members of society. Rehabilitation for employment also works with drug, physical or other types of rehab programs as part of a total plan in helping people reach their full potential. In essence, employment rehabilitation helps people with challenges find work.

Retraining and working part time are typical beginning experiences for people involved in employment rehabilitation programs. Some people may receive clothing or a bus pass to help them find work, but many will also be taught job interview skills and how to look for employment. Resume writing and cover letter workshops may be held to help further the participants’ chances of employment. In some cases, retraining options are available at community colleges for specific careers such as nursing assistants, cooks or computer professionals.


Aptitude and personality testing are often a big part of employment rehabilitation. Aptitude refers to a natural talent or ability for a specific career or job and aptitude tests can reveal an individual’s vocational abilities. Different vocational skills include mechanical, language, mathematics and organizational abilities. Personality tests in employment rehabilitation programs help determine what type of jobs would best suit a person. These assessments are based on the individual’s test information such as whether the individual enjoys working alone or with others and what he or she values in a job or career.

The current labor market and demand for certain jobs also have to be a consideration in employment rehabilitation since the primary goal is to get the individual working. There may be job training programs designed especially for recovering addicts or people with disabilities. Self-employment may be an option for those individuals with a viable small business idea and the entrepreneurial skills necessary to work independently. Government grants may be given to women or minorities starting a small business.

The United States Department of Education gives state grants to some organizations that provide employment rehabilitation programs for people with mental or physical disabilities. These programs help participants overcome barriers to employment and also concentrate on finding suitable employment for workers with disabilities. Most companies will hire people from rehab programs if they are a good fit for the jobs.



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