Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 46, 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: Policy makers have substantial interest in how the provision of employment services to persons with disabilities affects earnings and receipt of disability benefits. OBJECTIVE: We examined the extent to which studies using matched Social Security Administration (SSA) and Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) data inform how provision of employment services affects employment and benefit outcomes. METHODS: We summarize each study and consider the extent to which the findings address the effects of service provision on employment and benefit outcomes. RESULTS: The studies provide rich contextual information about how enrollment for services is related…to employment and disability program outcomes but limited evidence regarding impacts. Positive relationships between service and outcomes may confound the impacts of services with effects of other factors, such as the unobserved severity of medical conditions, motivation, or strength of the local labor market. Two studies that attempted to rigorously estimate the impacts of employment services found convincing evidence of impacts on service enrollment but no evidence of impacts on employment and benefit outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: RSA-SSA data can facilitate estimation of employment service impacts, but to differentiate impacts from effects of confounding factors, researchers must exploit serendipitous or planned opportunities that are external to the data themselves.
Keywords: Disabilities, employment, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, vocational rehabilitation, RSA-911, Disability Analysis File, Ticket to Work, return to work, youth with disabilities, work incentives
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Recent federal policy changes require vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to increase the share of spending they allocate to services for specific types of transition-age youth, though limited information exists about the outcomes for these different types. OBJECTIVE: We seek to provide information about the range of VR outcomes across youth characteristics, with particular attention to differences by education and employment status at application. METHODS: We tracked VR outcomes through 2013 for all transition-age youth with disabilities who applied and were eligible for VR services between 2004 and 2007. RESULTS: High school dropouts…had the lowest odds of receiving services and exiting with employment, and those still in high school at application had lower employment rates at closure than those who were working or in postsecondary school. Agency factors, such as timing and volume, were important influences in whether youth received services and exited with employment. CONCLUSIONS: Sizeable increases in the youth populations served by VR agencies might have implications for an agency’s overall success, both with youth and with adults. Prioritizing one subgroup of youth, such as high school students, might come at the expense of services received by other subgroups of youth, such as high school dropouts.
Keywords: Youth with disabilities, vocational rehabilitation agencies, transition from school to adulthood, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is a persistent gap in the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities and those without disabilities, with outcomes differing across impairment groups and by demographics. OBJECTIVE: Our goal is to identify differences in competitive employment outcomes across 17 impairment groups included in the RSA-911, including interaction effects with other individual characteristics, among them age, gender, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment. METHODS: We used logistic regression to examine differences in competitive versus other employment closures among vocational rehabilitation customers who were employed at closure. The relationship between demographic variables and type of employment was…allowed to vary by impairment. RESULTS: Contrary to research that does not differentiate type of employment, we find the odds of competitive employment are lowest for VR clients who are blind or visually impaired. They are also lower for those with mobility, orthopedic, or mental impairments; women; older clients; and those with lower levels of educational attainment. Interaction effects revealed that the differences across demographic groups vary by type of impairment. CONCLUSION: Researchers and counselors should consider type of employment at closure, and differences by impairment and among demographic groups should be taken into consideration when designing employment service programs.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Vocational rehabilitation (VR) helps people with disabilities achieve employment. VR administrative data only capture whether VR service recipients were employed at program exit, making it difficult to measure whether employment is sustained. OBJECTIVE: This study used linked administrative data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to explore the employment, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment receipt, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit receipt outcomes of VR applicants during the first seven calendar years after program exit. METHODS: The analysis sample included all VR case closures from 2004 through 2006.…We linked the RSA-911 file to SSA’s Disability Analysis File and Master Earnings File to measure outcomes. Regression analysis controlled for observable characteristics. RESULTS: Applicants exiting with employment were most likely to be employed or have SSI or SSDI benefits suspended over the subsequent seven years. Those who did not receive services had better outcomes than those who received services but exited without employment. Interestingly, SSDI non-beneficiaries who were working at program exit were more likely than others to eventually receive SSDI. CONCLUSIONS: The correlation between employment status at closure and future outcomes provides an opportunity to target further assistance to VR customers as they leave the program.
Keywords: Vocational rehabilitation, outcomes, employment, disability insurance, Supplemental Security Income
Abstract: BACKGROUND : Existing survey and administrative data provide little information on why individuals with disabilities have had persistently low employment rates and why some groups of individuals fare better in the labor market than others. OBJECTIVE : Our goal is to provide new insights into the barriers and facilitators to employment among individuals with disabilities. METHODS : We designed the Survey of Disability and Employment, a 30-minute telephone survey, to collect information on health conditions, employment history and barriers, and workplace and social supports for 2,804 vocational rehabilitation (VR) applicants in 2014. RESULTS : In addition to…citing health issues, VR applicants cite many barriers to employment, including difficulty finding a job, lack of skills, and accessibility. Health presents as a barrier due to unpredictability of symptoms, pain, and lack of physical energy and adequate time. Despite these barriers, the majority of VR applicants state it is extremely important that they work and most have high self-perceptions of executive functioning. CONCLUSION : A richer understanding of the resources and needs of individuals with disabilities can help counselors and policymakers better tailor services to support their employment goals.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In general, people with disabilities have lower levels of social capital, a measure of the quality of social relations, than people without disabilities. People with disabilities who participate in the labor force, however, have been found to have higher levels of social capital than their peers who do not participate in the labor force. OBJECTIVE: Using newly available data from the Survey of Disability and Employment (SDE), this study examined perceived social capital as it relates to supporting employment among applicants for state vocational rehabilitation (VR) services in three states: Mississippi, New Jersey, and Ohio.…METHODS: We used multivariate analysis to compare differences in levels of perceived (i.e. cognitive) social capital between applicants who were employed and applicants who were not employed, by disability severity, age at disability onset, health status, and individual characteristics. RESULTS: VR applicants were more likely to benefit from social capital in their working lives if they reported currently working, less severe disability, and better perceived health. CONCLUSIONS: VR counselors must recognize that persons applying for VR services vary greatly in their access to the social supports that are closely associated with employment.
Keywords: Vocational rehabilitation, social capital, employment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Motivation is a central factor in supported employment. OBJECTIVE: This paper introduces two types of expectancy postulated by the extended cognitive model of motivation into the field of supported employment. We focus on the action-outcome-expectancy, which implies an active and action orientated attitude, and the situation-outcome-expectancy, which is associated with a passive attitude. We analysed which of the two expectancies is related to a better vocational outcome in a supported employment study. METHODS: 116 participants with mental illness were enrolled. A series of logistic regression analyses were conducted to explore associations between the type…of expectancy and variables of interest. RESULTS: The action-outcome-expectancy was predicted by a higher self-motivation (importance of working), being female, higher income, and a higher score in the global quality of life scale. Having a partner, lower income and a lower score in the global quality of life scale were predictors of the situation-outcome-expectancy. Notably, study participants with the action-outcome-expectancy had a threefold higher probability of obtaining competitive employment. CONCLUSION: Therefore, job coaches should consider taking a stronger lead in the application process for participants with situation-outcome-expectancy.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This article derives from data provided by the National EEOC ADA Research Project at VCU. It is intended to document whether and how the findings of an EEOC investigation are different when allegations of workplace discrimination derived from persons with Learning Disabilities (LD) are compared to those derived from a General Disability Population (GENDIS). This particular article deals squarely with merit of the allegation upon closure of the investigation. OBJECTIVE: To ascertain differences in outcomes of investigations involving allegations derived from persons with LD vs. GENDIS. METHODS: Database mining and descriptive and non-parametric analyses…of merit vs. non-merit closures were compared, as well as CHAID analysis of those factors which drive the difference in closure rates between the two groups. RESULTS: Findings indicate that in general proportion of merit for both groups is about the same. However, there are profound differences in the subcategories “settlements with benefits” (higher for LD) and conciliation failure (lower for LD; the EEOC finds merit but the employer does not concur). With respect to the CHAID analysis, only one predictor value was associated with a significant differentiation of the merit rate within LD: Merit rates were markedly higher for LD in the age group 18–21. CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes of EEOC investigations derived from persons with LD are not unique. Any history of LD as an “atypical” condition that is poorly understood or of questionable legitimacy is not confirmed by the “behavior” of the ADA implementation process. Indeed the only differentiation between the two groups derives from LD allegations in the narrow age band 19–21 years, wherein the veracity of their charges is elevated by 37%.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite national efforts to improve post-school outcomes, many students with disabilities are unprepared to enter the workforce. Coordination with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) can offer opportunities for improved employment outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This study examined Oregon VR data to identify predictors of positive closure status for youth with disabilities. METHODS: Researchers used logistic regression to explore the effects of individual, in-school, post-school and contextual factors on VR case closure status among 4,443 young adults with disabilities who received and completed services from Oregon VR between 2003 and 2013. RESULTS: Being female, having a mental…illness, traumatic brain injury, multiple disabilities, interpersonal or self-care impediments to employment, receiving SSI, and closing with VR in periods of high unemployment reduce the likelihood of a positive VR closure. Participating in a collaborative transition program, earning a high school completion certificate, receiving a greater number of VR services, closing below the median number of days to closure, and closing in low unemployment periods increase the likelihood of a positive VR case closure status. CONCLUSION: These findings highlight specific barriers to employment for vulnerable groups of young adults with disabilities, and identify service and contextual factors that can support positive employment outcomes.
Keywords: Transition, youth with disabilities, vocational rehabilitation, employment outcomes