Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 17, issue 4
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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: Integration of workers with disabilities is a critical outcome of supported employment. But in practice it has been difficult to achieve. This paper reviews data-based research designed to increase the social interactions of workers with disabilities in supported employment settings. The literature is divided into four areas for review (social skills instruction, communication instruction, problem solving, and co-worker assistance). Specific interventions for increasing integration are analyzed and evaluated with suggestions for best…practice for instructional procedures. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
Abstract: Objective}: Fidelity scales, which are instruments for measuring implementation of a program practice, are sorely needed as the mental health field increasingly moves toward adoption of evidence-based practices. We examined the psychometric properties of a new fidelity scale developed for assessing supported employment for people with severe mental illness. Study design: Telephone surveys were conducted in 5 states using the 33-item Quality of Supported Employment Implementation Scale (QSEIS) and the 15-item Individual Placement and…Support (IPS) Fidelity Scale. We interviewed program directors for 144 vocational programs, including 106 supported employment programs and 38 programs offering vocational services other than supported employment. Results: Internal consistency for the total QSEIS was 0.72. For 27 (82%) of the QSEIS items, at least one-third of the supported employment sites were rated as fully implemented, suggesting concordance between the operating principles of supported employment as practiced in the field and the content of the QSEIS. Factor analysis yielded 5 interpretable factors: Job Placement, Integration with Mental Health Treatment, Long-Term Support, Teamwork, and Engagement. Supported employment differed from other vocational services, especially with respect to job placement in competitive employment and long-term support in these jobs. Concurrent validity was suggested by a 0.85 correlation between the QSEIS and the IPS Fidelity Scale. Conclusions: Fidelity scales are an essential component of an evidence-based practice. Surveys based on psychometrically adequate fidelity scales, such as the QSEIS, can foster greater understanding to the extent of implementation of such practices. For local, state, and national surveys of supported employment, it is incumbent that researchers and program planners use the QSEIS or instruments like it to describe vocational services.
Abstract: This paper derives from a national study of employer outcomes when employing a person with a disability. Questionnaires were completed by 643 Australian employers who had employed a person with a disability. Individual performance was considered by comparison of the employee with a disability and the "average" employee. The "average" employee was rated significantly better on productivity variables, and employees with a disability were rated somewhat, but not significantly, better on reliability variables and employee…maintenance variables. Organization performance was considered in terms of benefits and costs of workplace modifications and changes to staff training and supervision. In each domain, employers identified more organization benefits than costs, a large majority considering the financial effect of modifications and changes cost-neutral, with financial benefit more common than net cost. Employers reported short-term, but no long-term or broader benefits from employer subsidies and/or incentives. The need to take a broad, "big picture" view to understand cost effectiveness is discussed.
Keywords: cost benefit analysis, disability, employing a person with a disability
Abstract: This paper summarizes the recent empirical literature on post-secondary school outcomes of youth with disabilities. Our summary illustrates the variation in characteristics and outcomes that exist in several subpopulations generally defined as youth with disabilities. Unfortunately, a major limitation of this literature, particularly for special education students and SSI recipients, is a lack of information on recent outcomes. Specifically, there were no major data collection efforts, at least at the national level,…to track these populations in the mid to late nineties. While upcoming data sources, such as the National Longitudinal Transition Survey2 (NLTS2) and National Survey of Children and Families (NSCF), should fill major gaps in existing knowledge, other data initiatives are necessary to ensure that policy makers continuously have current information. We suggest several types of survey and administrative data initiatives, as well as new research projects using current data, to address current gaps.
Keywords: special education, transitions, youth with disabilities, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
Abstract: Attaining employment as a person with epilepsy often involves the negotiation of numerous obstacles. Complex and interrelated, these obstacles include navigating the relationship between work, epilepsy, and its treatment, often in the context of negative and uninformed attitudes and beliefs of employers and co-workers. This article reports the results of a focus group in which the employment-related challenges and successes of people with epilepsy were explored. The results underscore the complexity of the process of seeking,…attaining, and maintaining work as a person with epilepsy. The results are discussed in terms of the implications for rehabilitation professionals who are working to help people with epilepsy to successfully find and maintain employment.
Keywords: epilepsy, employment, epilepsy and employment, barriers to employment, focus group, employer attitudes
Abstract: Discourse analysts have shown that interview interactions between staff and people with mental retardation are especially subject to problems of 'acquiescence'. The interviewer's interactional dominance as well as the way questions are phrased and sequenced on questionnaires have been shown to encourage potentially acquiescent behaviours. These observations imply a need to develop procedures for measuring the extent of this phenomenon during vocational profiling conducted by job coaches and for finding effective methods…for its reduction. Kilsby and Beyer (2002) demonstrated how a self-determination package could be used by job-coaches to reduce the incidence of question formats most associated with producing acquiescent responses during job selection interviews. However, the quantitative method of coding the type and frequency of the questions asked by job-coaches does not provide conclusive evidence that job-seekers' acquiescence was actually reduced. This paper aims to highlight the problems of acquiescence in supported employment by using the insights gained from fine-grained interactional analysis using a sample of the first time job-seekers from the Kilsby and Beyer study. Results indicate that the interventions did indeed reduce the occurrence of potentially acquiescent responses on the part of job-seekers, thus adding validity to the observational data and suggesting effective ways forward for practice and research.
Abstract: The current state of supported employment in Finland was studied through a nationwide survey given to job coaches in 2001. Supported employment was defined as paid work in integrated settings with on-going supports, including at least two visits per month at the workplace by a job coach. We found 19 supported employment programmes with 62 persons fulfilling the above definition. For the most part, the placements in supported employment were based on the personal interest of…job coaches. Characteristics of people in supported employment are presented as well as their terms of employment. Some current trends of supported employment in Finland are discussed.
Abstract: This research offers the result of the follow-up study on the evolution of the quality of life of persons with autism between 1996 and 2000. It compared two modalities of employment: sheltered employment versus supported employment. Fifty-five subjects of both sexes participated in the research, all of them having been diagnosed with autism. The outcome demonstrated that people with autism who participated in the supported employment program improved their quality of life level in a very…meaningful way during the analysis period. In contrast, the group who participated in the modality of sheltered employment did not experience a meaningful improvement in their quality life level. We conclude that supported employment is a useful means to enhance quality of life.