Role concepts and functions of rehabilitation counselors for the deaf

The purpose of this study was to investigate Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf concerning their perceived role concepts and functions. This study had originally been conducted on a nation-wide basis in 1970 by Norm Tully in partial fulfillment of his Doctoral Degree. In this present study, twenty-six Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf (RCDs) employed by the State of California Department of Rehabilitation were surveyed using Tully’s original "Role Concepts and Functions of Rehabilitation Counselors with the Deaf" questionnaire. This questionnaire was designed to determine: 1) the background of RCDs employed by the Department of Rehabilitation at the time of the study, 2) the extent to which the counselor's actual role differed from the role his or her agency would have preferred, 4) the extent to which the counselor's actual role differed from the role he or she felt best qualified to perform, and 5) the difference between the percentage of time which counselors devoted to various functions and the amount of time which they felt they should devote to these functions. It was found by this study that the majority of RCDs were under 36 years of age; female, married, hearing, held a Master's Degree, and had good sign language skills. Counselors were found, however, to have role conflicts in both their role concepts and in many of the functions which they performed. It was suggested that Services to Deaf Persons, the section within the Department responsible for RCDs, should interact with counselors to find ways to help reduce their role conflicts, and should institute some type of periodical evaluation which would monitor those counselors' needs.