Occ. Code 8346300






 New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard





Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors supervise and direct a unit of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors who plan and coordinate the vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabling physical and/or mental handicaps with the primary goal being to aid these individuals to obtain and retain optimum employment.


Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are physically located in field offices and institutions throughout the State. Most positions are found in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Education Department; others are found in the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped in the Office of Children and Family Services and in the Workers' Compensation Board.




Typically, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is the first supervisory level involved in the vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabling physical and/or mental handicaps. This distinguishes them from positions of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Grade 19 which are directly involved in counseling clients and planning and coordinating the delivery of rehabilitation services and which do not have supervisory authority over professional positions. Incumbents of Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions typically supervise a small group of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors that may range from two to ten professionals plus clerical and keyboarding staff. A few other properly classified Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions provide specialized services utilizing most of the abilities and knowledge required of the supervisory positions. Examples of such assignments may be found in the Bureau of Staff Development and Training and the Division of Policy Evaluation and Development of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.


This class is distinguished from Senior Correction Counselor in that the latter classes' subordinate staff emphasize the use of social casework techniques in helping their clients to resolve social and/or emotional adjustment problems.


Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation typically supervise counselors who work with clients over a broad spectrum of disabilities. Those in the Commission for the Blind & Visually Handicapped oversee counselors who work with blind clients who often have other physical and/or mental handicaps.


Positions in the Workers' Compensation Board oversee counselors who work with claimants injured in the work place with a broad spectrum of disabilities.




Assigns new cases to professional staff for evaluation and the preparation of a rehabilitation plan for the client.


·   Reviews and approves case plans developed by counselors against a background of policy and professional expertise specific to the case situation.


·   Reviews and approves case closures to ensure that effective services were provided to the client and that the case is ready for closure.


·   As made necessary by policy or unusual case situations, refers case plans and amendments to medical consultants or higher-level supervisors for decision.


Evaluates the progress of ounselors' case activities to ensure that cases are being handled properly and expeditiously; uses statistical reports to monitor quantitative and qualitative aspects of individual counselor caseloads.


·   Reviews individual case records prepared by counselors.


·   Observes counselors and confers with them on individual cases to evaluate performance and resolves problems.


·   Provides professional advice to counselors on how to handle unusual or difficult situations.


·   Ensures that staff development programs are carried out as prepared for the counselors.


·   Informs or ensures that subordinate staff is informed of policy and procedural changes by holding staff conferences.


Expedites the processing of case referrals by developing and maintaining relationships with referral sources to facilitate the identification and referral of appropriate cases.


Promotes the securing of rehabilitation services and employment opportunities for the handicapped.


·   Maintains oral and written communications with educational, medical, welfare, and industrial organizations and personnel.


·   Addresses interested public and private groups on the subject of vocational rehabilitation.


·   Participates on committees and in conferences.


Trains Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Trainees in the techniques and principles of rehabilitation counseling through personal instruction and work review.


Supervises clerical staff regarding work assignments, correspondence, and records and personally prepares unit activity reports.


Plans the effective use of assigned personnel, equipment, and space to ensure effective client services and a smooth work flow.


May perform those tasks described in the classification standard for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.




Incumbents of positions in this class have frequent oral and written communication with a variety of people including medical and other consultants, personnel of various rehabilitation facilities which provide rehabilitative services, representatives of other agencies both public and private which may provide needed services and both employers and potential employers. The communication involves explaining the services the agency has to offer, obtaining necessary information, establishing rapport, consulting with appropriate medical personnel and other technical experts, working with personnel of other government and private agencies in order to coordinate work activities to avoid possible duplication of effort and to improve overall efficiency of service and establishing good rapport with employers in their community.


Such relationships require gaining the cooperation of various individuals, some of whom may not be especially sympathetic to the goals of the programs, in supervising the provision of necessary vocational rehabilitation services to clients.




This class is characterized by the supervision of a group of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. The Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor approves all individualized rehabilitation plans before they can be implemented, approves any changes in the rehabilitation plan, provides guidance and assistance to counselors in resolving especially difficult cases, reviews various reports for which the counselor is responsible and keeps the counselors informed on changes in rules and procedures.


Most Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors receive general direction from an Associate Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor who serves as supervisor of two or more counseling groups each headed by a Senior. This supervision is in the nature of work flow review, advice on unusual cases, and imparting information on policy and procedural changes. These Associates serve as general administrators, including such areas as work flow and quality control management, community relations and program promotion, becoming involved with specific cases only when they are of an unusual nature.


Senior positions in the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped usually receive similar supervision from positions of District Manager, Services for the Blind.




·   Working knowledge of the principles and practices of effective supervision.


·   Ability to supervise a vocational rehabilitation counseling and clerical staff.


·   Working knowledge of medical aspects of physical and mental disabilities.


·   Working knowledge of psycho-social problems related to physical and mental disabilities.


·   Good knowledge of counseling techniques and principles.


·   Ability to comprehend written factual and interpretative material.


·   Working knowledge of psychological tests and interpretation of scores.


·   Good knowledge of community resources that can be utilized in planning for the vocational rehabilitation of the physically and mentally handicapped.


·   Ability to establish rapport with clients for the purpose of facilitating the rehabilitation process.


·   Ability to establish good working relationships with personnel from various agencies for the purpose of coordinating rehabilitation programs.


·   Good knowledge of sources of occupational information including jobs available, the knowledge and skills needed and their adaptability to various mental and physical disabilities.


·   Working knowledge of agency rules and regulations and pertinent laws and legislation such as the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Workers' Compensation Law.


·   Working knowledge of job training possibilities.


·   Working knowledge of educational programs and preparation and skills needed.


·   Ability to evaluate a client's potential; i.e.., skills, aptitudes, etc.


·   Ability to establish a working relationship with people of varied socioeconomic background.


·   Ability to maintain accurate records.


·   Working knowledge of statistical reports necessary to control and monitor caseload activity.




One year of permanent service as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Grade 19.





Reviewed:  9/03




NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.