Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 35, 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: Many Social Security disability beneficiaries are employed and many more would like to enter or reenter the workforce. Among the self-reported obstacles to employment identified by beneficiaries are: (1) fear of losing benefits; (2) fear of losing health care coverage; and (3) unpredictable administration of available Social Security work incentives. Work Incentive Counseling is an employment support that can assist beneficiaries to overcome these obstacles and pursue their self-chosen employment and financial independence goals. Available data confirm that Work Incentive Counseling is a cost-effective support that improves the employment outcomes of Social Security disability beneficiaries.
Keywords: Work incentive counseling, employment support, social security disability benefits, obstacles to employment
Abstract: This paper examined the costs of services received and outcomes obtained by 112 supported and sheltered employees. Overall, sheltered employees received services for longer periods (M = 72.92 months v. 44.91 months) as well as worked more hours per month (M = 65.68 v. 58.95) than supported employees. However, supported employees on average generated fewer cumulative costs (M = $22.406 v. $45.840) and earned more wages per month (M = $390.96 v. $164.79). Supported employees also had lower cost per hour worked (M = $11.15 v. $15.04) and cost per dollar earned (M = $2.01 v. $11.38) ratios.
Abstract: As a federal-state partnership to rehabilitate individuals with mental and physical disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services operate under state oversight in all states of the USA. State and Regional AgrAbility Projects (SRAP) and the lead agency National AgrAbility Project (NAP) are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assist in the rehabilitation of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers with disabilities across the country and have regular interaction with VR regarding services provided to customers. AgrAbility projects currently operate in 24 states. This study was intended to assess the benefits and challenges of this association from the perspective of…the SRAP personnel and was conducted through telephone interviews with SRAP service providers based on a prepared questionnaire. The questions focused on the current status as well as expectations regarding future relationships as seen by AgrAbility staff. The results from the study revealed that interaction in each state is different but all have demonstrated benefits for clientele. The different perspectives and unique experiences of study participants can be used to enhance future relationships between the agencies and provide better service for customers.
Abstract: Whilst the literature consistently argues that vocational education and training, including apprenticeships and traineeships, contribute to positive employment outcomes for people with disability, little is documented regarding their post-course outcomes, particularly over time. This paper presents a retrospective outcome analysis of 253 apprentices and trainees with disability who were placed and supported by EDGE Employment Solutions (EDGE) between 2000 and 2010. EDGE, established in 1984 as a Disability Employment Service (DES) in Perth, Western Australia, has actively pursued apprenticeships and traineeship for people with disability in Australia since the 1990s. Post-course outcomes, including income, hours worked, and job durability, were…analysed and compared with matched pairs of current EDGE registrants with similar socio-demographic characteristics who had not commenced an apprenticeship or traineeship. The retrospective outcome analysis found significantly better post-training outcomes for participants in the “completed” apprenticeship cohort than those achieved by their matched pairs. Improved outcomes were evident in higher hourly wages, more hours worked per week, higher weekly wages, and greater job durability. Better outcomes were also achieved by participants in the “completed” traineeship cohort and “did not complete” apprenticeship cohort. The outcomes for participants in the “did not complete” traineeship cohort did not differ significantly from the comparison group on most outcome measures.
Keywords: Disability, vocational training, apprenticeships, post-course outcomes in Australia
Abstract: The lack of employment opportunities and stable employment for individuals with disabilities continues to pose personal and societal difficulties and challenges. Moreover, research and government statistics have consistently reported that individuals with disabilities have lower employment wages and benefits than individuals without disabilities, as well as limited opportunities for promotion and career advancement. Not surprisingly, individuals with disabilities also experience persistently higher poverty rates. While much is known in the empirical-research literature about individuals with disabilities who work for someone else, much less is known about individuals in self-employment. Some anecdotal information suggests that self-employment may be a way to…improve these outcomes. In the present paper, we reviewed, analyzed, and synthesized the findings of empirical-research studies on self-employment of individuals with disabilities in the United States. We found that successful self-employment is defined in financial and non-financial terms and is largely influenced by three factors: individual characteristics, level of supports, and accountability systems. Because of the small number of U.S. research studies on self-employment, however, our conclusions are tentative. Further empirical research is needed, focusing especially on long-term outcomes. Implications for researchers, individuals with disabilities, and other stakeholders are discussed in conclusion.
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative project was to explore employment-related considerations through the perspectives of supported employment consumers with both psychiatric disabilities and criminal offense histories. Fourteen individuals participated in semi-structured interviews. Resulting themes included the importance of nonvocational services; relationship between mental illness and criminal activity; impact of mental illness and offense history on employment; helpful elements of supported employment; and recovery and advice to others. These findings help to explain how supported employment can mitigate social underachievement and social decline in an especially high need population.