Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 18, 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 evolution of Personal Assistance Services (PAS) as a Workplace Support (WS) is truly one of a long, slow change. This evolution has a shared history with the Independent Living Movement; the Long-term Care, Services and Supports efforts; and the push for full inclusion and community integration for people with disabilities. As it is impossible to separate the need for PAS in the workplace from the need in other areas in life, it is impossible to…separate the development of PAS as a workplace support from its development for other areas of life. Consumers across the country used a variety of mechanisms to document the need and value of PAS. States took the initiative to develop and implement community-based personal assistance services. They all shared the strategy of using whatever funding source advocates could pry open to fund PAS. Unable to identify a single source of funding large enough to meet the documented needs for PAS, advocates inserted PAS into each and every program they could. Advocates with disabilities working for PAS as a workplace support have accomplished much. They still have a long way to go to have a well working system, but they are not alone in their quest.
Keywords: independent living, personal assistance services as a workplace support, personal assistant
Abstract: This paper explains the importance of a Personal Assistant (PA) in the workplace. It describes some of the ways Personal Assistance Services (PAS) can be used by employees with significant disabilities to maximize his/her efficiency. The chapter highlights the subtle difference between using PAS in the home setting and in a competitive work environment. Lastly, it offers tips on recruiting, hiring, and managing a PA for workplace duties.
Keywords: personal assistance in the workplace, Personal Assistance Services
Abstract: A thorough self-assessment by the employee with a disability is critical to determining the level of need for workplace Personal Assistance Services (PAS). This paper describes why the self-assessment process should be employee-driven and how the self-assessment can assist the individual to select the Personal Assistant (PA) most qualified to meet his/her needs on the job. Although the process needs to be employee-driven, the author strongly advises employees to consult with rehabilitation professionals when appropriate to…see that all support needs are addressed in the self-assessment. Finally, two sample tools are presented that can be used in the self-assessment process and in the recruitment of a qualified workplace PA.
Keywords: personal assistance in the workplace, self-assessment in selecting a workplace Personal Assistant
Abstract: This article will discuss the importance of workplace personal assistants and how they can best support employees with significant disabilities in meaningful careers. The author will share insights from his experience supporting an employee with a significant disability in a variety of professional environments. Many best practices and attributes of an effective workplace personal assistant will be described. Providing workplace personal assistance can be both a valuable support to the employee with a disability and…a meaningful career for those who wish to provide this valuable service.
Keywords: personal assistance in the workplace, PAS, workplace support
Abstract: It comes as no surprise to people with significant disabilities that getting and keeping a job can be a challenge. For some people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities that limit their ability to function, day to day life often requires them to seek assistance with routine activities such as working, dressing, going to the bathroom, preparing meals, and other activities that are easily performed by people without disabilities. Personal Assistance Services, which are modifications of…equipment or alterations of the workplace, often make it possible for a qualified person with a disability to do the same job as everyone else but in a slightly different way. The role and function of PAS in the workplace provides an important tool to employers for increasing access to a major labor pool – individuals with significant disabilities. A chief business benefit will be dedicated, dependable and productive employees.
Keywords: Personal Assistance Services, work supports, reasonable accommodations, work site modifications, assistive technology, Personal Assistant, employer concerns, employment, disability
Abstract: This paper examines how assistive technology can be utilized in conjunction with personal assistance services in the workplace. Through case examples, the authors show how assistive technology can assist an individual with a disability to become more independent and productive in the workplace. The impact of disability and environment on assistive technology is discussed. In addition, the authors review factors influencing the selection and utilization of assistive technology at the workplace and demonstrate how the…use of assistive technology can lessen an individual's dependence on a personal assistant while at work.
Keywords: assistive technology, job site accommodations, personal assistant, personal assistance services, significant disabilities
Abstract: This article explores the concept of personal assistance services (PAS) in the workplace for individuals with disabilities. Three focus groups were conducted with individuals with disabilities who use PAS in the workplace. Thirteen men and three women provided insight regarding their experiences accessing and maintaining personal assistants in the workplace. Issues of discrimination, knowing who and when to request worksite PAS, self identifying with a disability, and understanding one's PAS needs were identified as…important factors in PAS at the workplace. The recommendations participants most frequently reported were to become a strong self-advocate and improve public policy around worksite PAS. Discussion focuses on how to incorporate the experiences and insights of the participants into enhancing the rehabilitation process for individuals who want to be in the workforce.
Keywords: workplace personal assistance services, employment of persons with significant disabilities, personal assistant
Abstract: For many persons with significant disability, the availability of Personal Assistance Services (PAS) is the most critical factor for determining whether an individual lives in an institution or in the community. Unfortunately, public policy has been slow to offer programs that encourage work for persons with significant disabilities who need PAS. During the past two decades, however, public policy changes enable people with even the most significant needs to be employed without fear of losing all…of their social supports. This paper describes the recent Public Laws and public policy initiatives that support opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. It provides numerous examples of options for Centers for Independent Living to participate in the Employment Networks being developed in response to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Finally, it describes ways to empower consumers to utilize the recent laws and public policy initiatives to take full advantage of the improved opportunity for them to live and work in the community.
Keywords: Personal Assistance Service, independent living, Centers for Independent Living, employment of individuals with significant disabilities, empowerment
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to assist supported employment professionals with identifying and promoting quality integration outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities. Workplace inclusion is an important outcome measure of a quality employment program supporting individuals with disabilities. Multiple factors must be examined when determining if a particular job or employee is integrated. First, the indicators that are characteristic of vocational integration are described. Second, systematic procedures for assessing integration opportunities…in the workplace and an individual's social preferences are discussed. Third, strategies for improving integration and quality of life outcomes are presented. The article emphasizes the importance of systematic and ongoing assessment of the job setting and the worker if maximum integration is to be achieved and maintained.
Keywords: workplace inclusion, workplace integration, quality indicators for employment, individuals with significant disabilities, supported employment