The Disability Services Industry

Learn more about careers in Disabilities Services Industry

psychologist

The United States Department of Health and Human Services reports that there are approximately 54 million people living with disabilities in the U.S.1.  Many of these individuals with disabilities need an infrastructure of personalized support to lead fulfilling lives.  In addition, with the proper support system, people with disabilities contribute to the diversity and vitality of their communities.

The development of a useful support system for these individuals has been a magnificent project in terms of altruism and scope. In addition to creating a better world for people with disabilities, the Disability Services industry has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and a work environment full of individuals with similar interests and good will.

Disability Service careers can be divided into two categories:

Disability Service Categories

The first category includes people who provide habilitation care, such as helping people with disabilities at home, in assisted living communities, or hospitals with their daily living tasks.

The second category is comprised of individuals who serve as Social Workers.  Social Workers in the Disability Services field fill many different areas of employment.  For example, some Social Workers assess needs and develop care plans for clients, others serve as policy reformers and advocate for improved disability services, while some provide psychosocial support to people with disabilities and their families.

Both categories allow for career advancement and increased professional responsibility.  For example, opportunities for upper-level management, as well as consulting positions, are available to those who qualify.  In addition, it is possible to have a career in one area and transition into another. 

Obtaining the appropriate education allows for the best employment opportunities for a career in Disability Services.  Many habilitation aide positions require nursing degrees, and it is necessary to at least have a Bachelors degree in psychology, social work, or a related field to work as a social worker. Many social work positions also require a Masters or PhD in social work or psychology.  By obtaining a degree, employees can advance their professional standing and gain the opportunity to play a larger role in improving the lives of people with disabilities (other bonuses include increased salaries and job flexibility). However, if you do not see yourself pursuing more education, there is still an opportunity to work in Disability Services.

People who enjoy working with disabled populations generally excel in working one on one with others and providing support to at-need populations.  Habilitation Aides and Social Workers report great satisfaction in providing the services necessary for individuals with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives.

If you have the desire to improve people’s lives through individualized care and support, a career in Disability Services may be for you.

Find out how you can become involved, request information from schools offering Psychology degree programs. Also, learn more about the psychology career licensing processes and what the requirements for licensure are: Psychology Career Licensure.

Careers in the Disability Services Industry

Habilitation Aids...

Social Workers...

Resources:
1U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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5 Programs in
Online
  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Potential students may preview a free, one-week mini course to get an accurate impression of the student experience.
  • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
  • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
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  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Potential students may preview a free, one-week mini course to get an accurate impression of the student experience.
  • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
  • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Programs in
Online
  • Ranked #11 in the 2014 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
  • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
  • Has 1,600 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
  • Through its 47 endowed scholarships, it has awared $200,000 to Ph.D students over the course of four years.
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  • Ranked #11 in the 2014 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
  • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
  • Has 1,600 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
  • Through its 47 endowed scholarships, it has awared $200,000 to Ph.D students over the course of four years.
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Programs in
Online
  • A public institution founded in 1766, it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • The average freshman retention rate  is 91.8%.
  • Famous alumni include chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
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  • A public institution founded in 1766, it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • The average freshman retention rate  is 91.8%.
  • Famous alumni include chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Online Programs
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Programs in
Online
  • Ashford Mobile app keeps students connected to the online classroom on the go.
  • Business program offered in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
  • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
  • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
  • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Ashford Mobile app keeps students connected to the online classroom on the go.
  • Business program offered in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
  • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
  • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
  • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Programs in
Online
  • A private, Christian, liberal arts university open to students of any faith.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • Average class size is 20 students.
  • 97% of students receive financial aid, with the average freshman receiving $10,000.
  • Has been educating students since 1905.
  • Offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs. 
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  • A private, Christian, liberal arts university open to students of any faith.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • Average class size is 20 students.
  • 97% of students receive financial aid, with the average freshman receiving $10,000.
  • Has been educating students since 1905.
  • Offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs. 
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
5 Programs in
Online
  • With 100,000+ students, it's the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation.
  • Since 1971, its mission has been to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • The student-faculty ratio is 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 76.5%.
Show more [+]
  • With 100,000+ students, it's the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation.
  • Since 1971, its mission has been to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • The student-faculty ratio is 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 76.5%.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Programs in
Campus
  • Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1900, with over 40 diverse online degree programs.
  • Classes are available online and in over 20 campuses across the Midwest and Florida.
  • Offers a comprehensive student services team (SUPPORT+) composed of financial aid advisors, academic tutors, career service advisors, and more.
  • Operates as a Public Benefit Corporation school, that puts students first and maintains a commitment to the communities they serve.
  • Features a DreamReal program, that provides students with career guidance from enrollment to graduation, helps them to make connections in their community, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1900, with over 40 diverse online degree programs.
  • Classes are available online and in over 20 campuses across the Midwest and Florida.
  • Offers a comprehensive student services team (SUPPORT+) composed of financial aid advisors, academic tutors, career service advisors, and more.
  • Operates as a Public Benefit Corporation school, that puts students first and maintains a commitment to the communities they serve.
  • Features a DreamReal program, that provides students with career guidance from enrollment to graduation, helps them to make connections in their community, and more.
Show more [+]
3 Programs in
Campus
  • Helping students prepare for careers in healthcare since 1967.
  • All health programs include an externship, clinical rotation and/or fieldwork practice, for student experience.
  • Institutional accreditation provided by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • Provides programs in medical billing, massage therapy, veterinary assisting, dental assisting, and more. 
  • 10 campuses across Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Washington.
Show more [+]
  • Helping students prepare for careers in healthcare since 1967.
  • All health programs include an externship, clinical rotation and/or fieldwork practice, for student experience.
  • Institutional accreditation provided by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • Provides programs in medical billing, massage therapy, veterinary assisting, dental assisting, and more. 
  • 10 campuses across Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Washington.
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Programs in
Campus
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • Main campus located in Chicago, Illinois with additional campuses in Southern California, Washington D.C., and online.
Show more [+]
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • Main campus located in Chicago, Illinois with additional campuses in Southern California, Washington D.C., and online.
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
2 Programs in
Campus
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • 15 campuses across the United States, as well as 4 art institutes in North Carolina and Texas.
  • Began in 1899 as Draughon’s Practical Business College.
  • Each campus is heavily engaged in their respective communities, providing professional service from students and faculty.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • 15 campuses across the United States, as well as 4 art institutes in North Carolina and Texas.
  • Began in 1899 as Draughon’s Practical Business College.
  • Each campus is heavily engaged in their respective communities, providing professional service from students and faculty.
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid