Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 38, issue 2
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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: BACKGROUND: Customized employment (CE) has been shown to be a viable employment option for individuals with disabilities [1, 2], but to implement CE solutions, service providers need expanded capabilities that they may not have. OBJECTIVE: The specific purpose of this research was to develop a CE competency model embodying the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics necessary to provide CE solutions. METHOD: Using a job analysis approach, data collection activities included interviews with subject matter experts (SMEs) and a series of iterative SME panel reviews to develop task, knowledge, skills and ability lists. Next, competencies were developed using a Q-sort…methodology. The CE competency model was then verified to ensure its accuracy, completeness, and relevancy through SME ratings. RESULTS: The final model contained 31 tasks grouped into four CE components, and 84 KSAOs grouped into nine competencies. CONCLUSION: The CE competency model has a number of strengths that will make it a useful tool for the vocational rehabilitation field. Future research should seek to identify, develop or obtain objective measures of CE outcomes and test the relationship between the CE competency model and CE outcomes.
Keywords: Customized employment, job analysis, competency model
Abstract: BACKGROUND: While the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment has been shown to improve competitive employment outcomes, randomized controlled trials have consistently failed to show improved nonvocational outcomes for IPS participants compared to participants receiving traditional vocational services. AIMS: This study evaluated the impact of IPS on nonvocational outcomes for clients with severe mental illness (SMI). METHODS: A longitudinal analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial compared IPS to a stepwise vocational approach on employment outcomes over two years. Nonvocational outcomes were symptoms, psychiatric hospitalizations, quality of life, and social networks. Results: Although the total sample…showed improvement in several nonvocational domains over time, there were largely no differences between groups in nonvocational outcomes at follow-up or in their rates of improvement over time. CONCLUSIONS: Participation in supported employment alone is not sufficient to positively impact most nonvocational outcomes in people with severe mental illness.
Keywords: Supported employment, individual placement and support model, vocational services, nonvocational outcomes, severe mental illness
Abstract: Supported employment (SE) is one of the most prominent of the various methods designed to combat the exclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. Research on SE has mainly focused on the supply-side rather than the demand-side; the employer perspective regarding the employment of people with disabilities is not as well researched. The aim of this study is to investigate what employers with experience of employing persons with disabilities see as successful support from an SE organization. Fifteen employers and five managers were interviewed. The interviews were analyzed with the help of qualitative content analysis . The results show…that the SE organizations played three important roles – as broker, as guide, and as troubleshooter – and that this influenced employers' willingness to collaborate. The SE organizations were able to respond to the demands and market logic that make up employers' everyday reality. The approaches employers pointed to as most successful were provision of security, responsibility for the labor supplied, and the cultivation of relationships of trust with employers.
Abstract: The purpose of this review was to provide an update of research findings on employers' attitudes toward workers with disabilities. Fifteen studies published in the last decade were examined. It was found that employers showed positive general attitudes toward workers with disabilities, but had some reservations toward hiring workers with certain types of disabilities. Positive past experiences with individuals with disabilities were associated with more willingness to hire and retain employees with disabilities. However, fewer concerns were identified in this review than previous reviews.
Keywords: Employer attitude, individuals with disabilities, concerns, employability
Abstract: Employment specialists play a pivotal role in assisting youth and adults with disabilities find and retain jobs. This requires a unique combination of skills, competencies and personal attributes. While the fields of career counseling, vocational rehabilitation and special education transition have documented the ideal skills sets needed to achieve desired outcomes, the authors characterize these as essential mechanics. What have not been examined are the personal qualities that effective employment specialists possess. Theorizing that these successful professionals exhibit traits and behaviors beyond the mechanics, the authors conducted a qualitative study incorporating in-depth interviews with 17 top-performing staff of a highly…successful national program, The Marriott Foundation's Bridges from school to work. Four personal attributes emerged from the interviews: (a) principled optimism; (b) cultural competence; (c) business-oriented professionalism; and (d) networking savvy. In presenting these findings, the authors discuss the implications for recruitment, hiring, training, and advancing truly effective employment specialists, and offer recommendations for further research.
Abstract: Self-employment is a viable option for individuals with disabilities; however traditional self-employment services typically do not meet the needs of entrepreneurs with disabilities. Further, social capital is important for starting and maintaining a business; yet individuals with disabilities are considered to have low social capital. As a result, low-income entrepreneurs with disabilities often experience difficulties finding adequate resources to start and maintain a business. The Industry-Driven Support (IDS) model, developed over a two year period with a Participatory Action Research team, was designed to increase business skills and social capital of low-income entrepreneurs with disabilities. The program offers training sessions…on a specific business topic (e.g., marketing), networking sessions on building social capital, and one-on-one business support to a cohort of entrepreneurs in a specific industry (e.g., Arts and Crafts). Sessions were provided using web-conferencing technology. The model has been piloted with 38 low-income Alaskan entrepreneurs with disabilities, including those living in rural areas. The IDS model demonstrates promise as a cost-effective method for delivering training, providing needed supports, and connecting low-income entrepreneurs with disabilities to each other and needed resources.
Keywords: Self-employment, entrepreneurs with disabilities, social capital, networking, business skills, web-conferencing, participatory action research
Abstract: This national study investigated state economic health and state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services for persons with cognitive disabilities. Using 2004 to 2010 extant data from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the U.S. Census Bureau, this study explains variability in state VR services employment outcomes based on state economic performance and state-level VR factors. The results show state economic performance explains a significant amount of the variation in state VR employment rates for persons with cognitive disabilities. An additional significant amount of variation was explained after accounting for VR programmatic factors. These…findings have broad economic and programmatic implications that should be considered to improve the employment rate of persons with cognitive disabilities.