Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 13, 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: The National Information Management System for open employment services for people with a disability (NIMS) has been operating in Australia since January 1995. It is a system for collecting information on client and job characteristics, and open employment support received for all clients of these services. The number of active clients recorded on the NIMS database has increased from 18,527 in 1995 to 27,361 in 1997. In each of the three years over this period about…one-half of all clients were supported in one or more jobs during the year. Generally there is a high peak period of support provided at the time a client gains a job, and the level of support declines with increasing time in the job. However, patterns of support, along with measures of job experience, vary considerably with client characteristics such as age, sex, disability group, presence of other disability, and assistance required for activities of daily living.
Keywords: disability, employment services, open employment, Australia, NIMS
Abstract: This article reports the results of an evaluation of the impact on employment on the quality of life reported by a sample of people with an intellectual disability drawn from the register of Edge Employment Solutions incorporated, a large Australian competitive employment agency. Specifically, the article compares the quality of life of a group of individuals placed in open employment through the agency (some of who previously attended a sheltered workshop) with that of a matched…sample of individuals seeking employment through the agency (all of whom were unemployed, but some of whom attended a sheltered workshop, whilst the others remained at home.) The results indicate that employed individuals report a statistically significantly higher quality of life than their unemployed counterparts. Amongst the employed group, no statistically significant difference in quality of life was reported by those who previously had attended a sheltered workshop and those who previously had remained at home. Amongst the unemployed group, no statistically significant difference in the quality of life reported by individuals attending a sheltered workshop and those remaining at home, was observed.
Keywords: employment, intellectual disability, quality of life, Australia
Abstract: In Australia, adults with a moderate to severe intellectual disability receive a Commonwealth Government Disability Support Pension and may enter Commonwealth Government funded employment programs or State Government funded community activity programs. This paper compares the cost to government of Jobsupport (an open employment program) and the available alternatives. Background data about Jobsupport, including satisfaction surveys of employers and people with disabilities supported by Jobsupport, is included. Comparisons with other options show Jobsupport…to be a cost effective option for government and almost revenue neutral per client for the Commonwealth Government compared to the pension after 12 months. This result has been relatively robust over time; as government funding has increased and the program has grown in size, cost per client has remained steady in real terms. In evaluating the cost of the Jobsupport program, displacement effects have proved to be less important than had been previously believed and smaller for Jobsupport than in general labor market programs. Even when displacement differences are included, there are significant savings, including reductions in pension payments, from programs such as Jobsupport. When these savings are considered, a Jobsupport open employment program is much less expensive than State-funded Post School Options activity programs.
Abstract: The Australian Disability Services Act  signalled a dramatic change in the delivery of employment services to people with disabilities. The Act introduced alternative integrated employment options to traditional sheltered employment services. Despite the steady growth in the numbers of disabled people working in the integrated options, a concomitant drop in the number of people in sheltered employment programs has not occurred. Reasons for this are explored in the context of the implementation processes put in…place by successive governments. It is argued that the most serious challenge facing contemporary vocational service provisions is the reconciliation of a person-centred values philosophy with services driven by neo-classical economic policies.
Keywords: Australia, disability, integrated employment, support need, training