Telecom Toolbox Can Help VR Counselors Support the Employment Goals of Rural Consumers (MT UCEDD/LEND)

March 25, 2019

Since the recession, employment rates for people with disabilities has not increased at the same rates as those for people without disabilities. In rural areas, these disparities are more pronounced: in most rural areas, employment rates for people with disabilities decreased significantly while rates for people without disabilities in those same areas increased. (See the article Rural people with disabilities are still struggling to recover from the recession in The Conversation for more information.)

RTC:Rural researchers with the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana found that telecommunication strategies could help Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies increase contact between counselors and rural consumers and can help consumers reach their employment goals.

To help VR counselors feel more prepared to share online job search tools with consumers, staff members developed the Telecom Toolbox. The website has information for VR counselors on telecommunication methods and confidentiality and ethics concerns with using these methods. Telecom Toolbox offers information for consumers as well, such as how to manage your online presence or search for a job online.

The recently revised and updated Telecom Toolbox also features a blog, which contains posts on social media strategy, career options, job application tips, apps for students with disabilities, and other online job tools.