When the pandemic hit the States, vocational evaluators had to regroup, revise and improvise on the fly in an attempt to meet our clients’ needs and to continue to provide our services virtually. For some evaluators this was an easy and welcomed transition, but others had to become tech savvy and alter their way of envisioning how the assessment or evaluation process would look, and be delivered very quickly. We also had to consider the needs of the clients we serve; as always, by determining if this would be the best/most effective method for them, would the client have the equipment and knowledge to participate virtually, would there be undue influence from significant others since they would be participating from home, what would our referral sources or employers approve to be provided and how would compensation be affected, and how we would maintain our code of ethics through this alternative process. This presentation will address the affects of the pandemic on vocational evaluation and career assessment services provided by a private and state vocational rehabilitation evaluator, and how our approaches were similar and differed. We will also focus on a variety of assessments that are available online to continue services creatively in a virtual environment. Lastly, we will discuss the importance of continuing to impress upon counselors the importance of vocational evaluation in the rehabilitation process in both private and public sectors to continue delivering services holistically.
Meet the Presenters:
Lisa Blakeney, M.A. is a Certified Vocational Evaluator (orig) and International Certified Vocational Evaluator in private practice. She possesses over 40 years of experience providing vocational evaluation and related services to individuals with a variety of disabilities.
Shawn L. Zimmerman is a Certified Vocational Evaluator for the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DARS of VA). Shawn has worked in the field as a Certified Vocational Evaluator for 15 years starting as a Community Based Evaluator then moving into the State Agency evaluations serving individuals with disabilities.