The Private Rehabilitation industry has grown incrementally from its inception when it was referred to as “Insurance Rehabilitation” in the early 1970’s. The distinction was important then as the founding members of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP), who consisted of vocational rehabilitation counselors and nurses, were entering into a new practice setting and phase that was vastly different from the public agencies and institutions within which they were formerly trained and employed.
Originally working as case managers for insurance companies or as vocational rehabilitation counselors developing medical and vocational care plans within State Workers’ Compensation Systems, their respective scopes of practice have remained essentially intact since that time. Soon thereafter, the social security disability program began to require vocational input for the sound adjudication of disability claims and added their identity and skills to the industry.
Over decades of professional growth and development, today’s private rehabilitation professional has emerged to a unique place of prominence as a service to the community as it deals with vocational and disability issues in a broad range of civil litigation actions, federal and state workers’ compensation programs, disabled veteran programs, and federal and state disability programs. Today’s private rehabilitation professional works in a broad range of settings, with each case producing a combination of personal challenges and rewards.
IARP is the only organization focused on and committed to comprehensively serving the professional private rehabilitation industry, be it for the private practitioner or the professional employed in the private-for-profit sector. IARP has four specialty practice sections – Rehabilitation and Disability Case Management, Forensic Rehabilitation, Life Care Planning, and Social Security Vocational Expert. There are 30 chapters across the North America and internationally.
The IARP membership is truly multi-disciplinary in nature comprised of rehabilitation counselors, nurses of multiple specialties, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, physicians, psychologists, career counselors, and more.