Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 2, 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: Program evaluation has received increased attention in human service organizations since enactment of the Rehabilitation Acts of 1973 and 1978. However, there is evidence in the literature that rehabilitation facility staff are resistant to fully implementing program evaluation despite the research documenting numerous benefits to the client and organization. This article examines the perceptions of rehabilitation facility staff toward program evaluation in terms of the rationale for assessing program outcomes, identifying methods that may be used to encourage rehabilitation facilities to integrate the appropriate model and activities for conducting program assessment, and outlines strategies for implementing program evaluation in preservice…and inservice training programs.
Abstract: Only a small percentage of studies on transition from school into the adult community use comparison group designs. The purpose of this article is to provide some examples of transition studies using true experimental and quasi-experimental control group designs for documenting the effectiveness of transition demonstration models, new curricula, and training strategies. All of these designs control for all or most of the potential threats to internal validity, and thus, allow one to confidently attribute the student outcomes to the program or educational intervention. The use of a comprehensive evaluation methodology for demonstrating program effectiveness and establishing educational validity is…strongly encouraged.
Abstract: High-quality rehabilitation services are critical for successful vocational outcomes for adults with disabilities. The quality of human services provided by rehabilitation facilities depends primarily on the personnel who deliver them. Previous research on supervisors in rehabilitation facilities examined their preservice credentials, the inservice training they received, and the criteria used to hire them. This study extended that research by comparing supervisors' compensation, working conditions, job responsibilities, and needed skills to that of special education teachers. Data were collected via structured telephone interviews and mailed questionnaires. Eighty-one percent of the total population of facilities responded. Audio-tape recordings of phone interviews permitted…the reliability of the coding of information to be independently evaluated, yielding 100 % agreement. The findings indicated that floor supervisors with bachelor's degrees earned 48 % of special education teachers' average salary. They received more limited benefits, less training, and more difficult working conditions, even though their responsibilities and skill demands are similar. Moreover, 75 % of the floor supervisors did not have college degrees and their comparison to special educators was even less favorable. These findings have implications for the vocational outcomes for adults with disabilities.
Abstract: Supported employment has recently emerged as a viable rehabilitation alternative for individuals with developmental and other severe disabilities. Funding agencies and program managers are struggling to develop procedures for measuring the overall quality of an individual supported employment program and to determine the relative emphasis that should be placed on supported employment among an array of sometimes competing rehabilitation alternatives. This article identifies key supported employment programmatic and policy issues that require the implementation of comprehensive evaluation efforts. In addition, the complexities involved in developing program evaluation strategies that will assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual supported employment programs…are described and the major components of an evaluation system are illustrated.
Abstract: A critical, but often overlooked, aspect of benefit-cost analysis is an assessment of the uncertainty inherent in all program evaluation. This uncertainty arises from the estimation of program effects,from the procedures and assumptions used to value those effects, and from variations in the characteristics of the persons served and in the way a program is implemented. In general, the level of uncertainty is highest for evaluations of new prototype programs and decreases as the programs are replicated and serve larger numbers of persons. An understanding of the causes and magnitude of uncertainty is essential for interpreting and using benefit-cost analysis.…This is illustrated in the literature pertaining to the benefits and costs of transitional and supported employment where benefit-cost findings have ranged from very positive to mildly negative.
Abstract: If supported employment (SE) services systems are to continue to grow in their ability to meet the needs of individuals with disability, they must similarly pay attention to their competitiveness (for public and private support) in a changing world. In this article we first discuss the relationships between quality employment services and various costs, and the financial incentives built into several forms of financial arrangements between funders and service providers. We then look at examples of the kinds of changes in the internal and external environments that must be taken into account; we look, that is, at some recent advances…in SE methods and at a few current changes in employer interests. Finally, we propose the use of interagency SE quality teams for increasing quality and reducing costs while taking into account both financial incentives and changes in technology and interests. In so doing we develop, as an example of a quality improvement effort, a proposal for a radically different marketing conception of SE services.