Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 19, issue 3
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Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation will provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of information about the major areas that constitute vocational rehabilitation.
Periodically, there will be topics that are directed either to specific themes such as long-term care or different disability groups such as those with psychiatric impairment. Often a guest editor who is an expert in the given area will provide leadership on a specific topic issue. However, all articles received directly or submitted for a special issue are welcome for peer review. The emphasis will be on publishing rehabilitation articles that have immediate application for helping rehabilitation counselors, psychologists and other professionals in providing direct services to people with disabilities.
Original research articles, review articles, program descriptions, and case studies will be considered for publication. Ideas for special topical issues are welcomed as well.
Abstract: This article describes treatment fidelity and its key role in the design, implementation, and evaluation of applied rehabilitation interventions. The authors address the definition of treatment fidelity, its importance to the research enterprise, threats and barriers inherent in common rehabilitation research settings, and strategies for enhancing treatment fidelity in intervention-based research.
Abstract: Employment success for people with disabilities is closely related to the degree to which they are physically and socially integrated into the work environment. This study sought to explore the extent to which workers (N = 71) with disabilities were experiencing integration from the perspective of Supervisors (N = 65), Co-workers N = 63) and Employment Specialists (N = 67) located in 64 open and supported employment sites across Australia. The participants…completed questionnaires that addressed the following areas: workplace conditions, social interaction in the workplace, appropriateness of particular social behaviors, and attitudes to employees with disabilities. Overall, the findings revealed a considerable amount of agreement between the three groups of participants. The results showed that people with disabilities who were employed in entry level jobs across a range of work-places were considered to be valued members of the workforce. The majority of supervisors and co-workers indicated that the person with a disability was engaged in the social life of the workplace, although co-workers were less positive. Perceived differences on task related social skills and actual job performed appeared likely contributors to this finding. Finally, the positive attitudes being expressed towards those people with disabilities in this study by all three groups suggest that having direct experience with employees with disabilities in open employment situations can have a positive effect. The findings are discussed in light of the need for further research that seeks to understand the formation of friendships by adults with disabilities. Social integration in the workplace is only the first step toward the formation of reciprocal friendships.
Keywords: integration, social inclusion, attitudes, perceptions, behaviour
Abstract: Few methadone-maintained patients are employed, due to personal barriers and limited vocational services. With federal and state policy reforms compelling substance users to obtain work or risk losing public benefits, it is imperative to develop and test innovative vocational rehabilitation models. Designed for methadone patients, the Customized Employment Supports (CES) model integrates components of traditional vocational counseling in treatment, innovative vocational programs for the severely mentally ill, and case management techniques. This…paper describes CES, its principles, essential elements, and stages of service delivery. The model features a small caseload , long service duration (up to 18 months), frequent counselor-patient contacts, fieldwork with patients, and rapid job search. Although the primary goal of CES is competitive employment, incremental and intermediate steps involving any productive activity are also valued. After establishing a working alliance, the CES counselor helps patients increase their self-efficacy, and addresses both vocational and non-vocational barriers to employment. The CES model may also contribute to non-vocational improvements, especially reductions in illicit drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, and criminality. The CES model has been implemented at two urban methadone-maintenance clinics as part of a five-year randomized clinical trial to test the model's efficacy by comparing it with standard vocational services.
Abstract: This paper presents findings from a national survey of state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies regarding systems change in supported employment. Respondents from the 50 states and the District of Columbia assessed the impact of state systems change activities and policy implementation efforts on supported employment. Activities perceived to be most important to the implementation and expansion of state supported employment programs were training, technical assistance, capacity building, and policy and funding initiatives. While…respondents reported that significant efforts were devoted to conversion during state Title III supported employment system change projects, they reported a lower level of sustained effort following the conclusion of these projects. Respondents from 26 states reported that fiscal incentives exist to provide supported employment services over segregated services. Fiscal disincentives were also reported. Federal and state policies and practices were perceived to influence the administration and operation of state supported employment programs.
Keywords: conversion, policy implementation, supported employment, systems change, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: Vocational rehabilitation in schizophrenia has begun to attract research interest. Most of the research focuses on models of vocational service delivery. These studies emphasize global work outcomes and rarely address the more elemental abilities that affect these global outcomes. This study reports on a sample of 146 participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder as they progressed through a six-month work rehabilitation program. Participants' work was evaluated biweekly using the Work Behavior Inventory.…This rating instrument, which combines behavioral observation and interview methods, generates ratings in five specific work domains (Work Habits, Work Quality, Cooperativeness, Personal Presentation, and Social Skills) as well as a Total rating. Results indicate that nearly three quarters (74%) of the sample improved or became proficient in at least one work domain. Work Quality was the domain most likely to improve, while Cooperativeness was the domain most likely to reach a proficient level of performance. Work Quality, Work Habits, and Personal Presentation showed rapid improvement over the first 13 weeks with only modest gains in the second 13 weeks. Cooperativeness and Social Skills showed more gradual, continuous improvement over the entire six months while improvements in all domains were related to the number of weeks participants were involved in the program.
Keywords: schizophrenia, work therapy, social skills
Abstract: This article documents the Progression of Disability Benefits (PODB) for a sample of 201 employees with multiple sclerosis (MS) vs. a large sample of employees with diverse disabilities (n = 77,096) and another neurology group employee sample with epilepsy (n = 59). Among the most interesting findings is the dramatic movement for the MS sample to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) – 35.3% for the MS sample vs. 3.8% for the general disability sample and 8.5%…forthe epilepsy sample. Implications of these findings are discussed for better serving the needs of employees with MS onset.