RCAM is now Minnesota Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association (MRCEA) The MRA counselor division is now an official state chapter of the National Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association (RCEA). Due to the national counselor division breaking off from NRA about 3 years ago, NRA formed a new counselor division RCEA. To become an official state unit RCAM needed to revise its bylaws and change its name to be consistent with the national division. The bylaws and name change were approved on Aug. 18, 2010.
National Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association will get a new website. The new RCEA website will be up and running Aug. 27. It will contain both national and subchapter news and events. Check us out at www.rehabcea.org.
NRCA has been around for some time. Its Constitution was first adopted in October of 1958. The purpose of the association is to advance the profession of rehabilitation counseling through the establishment of professional ethics, public understanding, and supportive programs, which will assist all persons with disabilities in becoming self-sufficient and contributing members of society. There are eight major tenets in the constitution to focus the efforts of the association.
1. Increasing public understanding of the role of rehabilitation counseling in assisting all persons with disabilities to become to the extent possible, self-sufficient, self-supporting and contributing members of society.
2. Promoting and encouraging the development of professional training opportunities for all persons engaged in the counseling of persons with disabilities.
3. Developing professional standards for rehabilitation counseling including the opportunity to participate in certification and the certification maintenance process. (NRCA has adopted the CRCC's Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors as its own code of ethics.)
4. Providing a forum for the discussion of issues pertaining to rehabilitation counseling.
5. Encouraging the development of rehabilitation counseling as it contributes to an interdisciplinary approach to the solution of problems in rehabilitation.
6. Fostering research to advance knowledge and skills in rehabilitation counseling.
7. Establishing standards of performance for individuals representing NRCA with other organizations (accountability).
8. Working with the employers of rehabilitation counselors and set the stage for developing relationships that will be beneficial to all.
While many of these tenets would have to be considered works in progress, members of NRCA have made significant contributions to the field of rehabilitation. Members of the association have assisted in the development of the Certification of Rehabilitation Counseling (CRCC). Efforts have been made to provide educational information to congress during legislative initiatives such as the re authorization of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
One particular issue that the association as well as others influenced during the last re-authorization was that of the value of qualified staff. On a national level, the association has advocated for the right for people with disabilities to be able to take full advantage of the inherent rights of citizenship which includes the right to pursue meaningful work consistent with their abilities.
In Minnesota, rCAM has a membership of around fifty members. An active core work to represent the interests of our National Association on the local level. Members actively pursue MRA elected posts and tend to be well represented on the MRA Board. rCAM has actively contributed speakers for MRA and have for the past several years, coordinated a pre-conference prior to the MRA conference. The Richard Wanderman pre-conference scheduled prior to the Spring MRA Conference, is an example of these efforts. Members have regularly attended the annual NRA Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington. Each year the Division sponsors a scholarship that is awarded to a graduate student planning to enter rehabilitation counseling in Minnesota. And last but not least, the Division promotes "excellence" in rehabilitation counseling statewide through the annual Counselor of the Year Award .
Like so many things, you get out of membership in an organization what you put into it. rCAM provides a vehicle to further your professional goals, to get to know others working as rehabilitation counselors in the field and to make a contribution to others. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to consider joining a division of MRA such as rCAM or another association that is applicable to your specific profession goals.
Check out the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association's home page!
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RCAM, the Rehabilitation Counselors Association of Minnesota, a division of the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association, is again excited to announce the availability of two Scholarships targeted for a student pursuing a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling! One scholarship will be funded through RCAM and the second will be funded through MRA.