Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 35, issue 3
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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: At the age of thirty, supported employment has given rise to significant accomplishments, but much of its promise remains unfulfilled. Wolfensberger's Social Role Valorization (SRV) theory offers a substantive method for analyzing and strengthening supported employment practices while describing principles for addressing patterns of social devaluation imposed on people with disabilities. Using formal SRV theory, this paper will explore the power of the employee role. Improved clarity about the role of employee, when it exists and when it does not (i.e., “my employee” versus “your client”) represents one way to bolster supported employment and increase positive possibilities in life for…people with disabilities.
Keywords: Supported employment, integration, inclusion, natural supports, SRV, social role valorization, normalization, choice
Abstract: Social inclusion in community work settings remains an elusive outcome for many employees with intellectual disabilities. This study explored how the structure of work relationships with colleagues facilitates or inhibits social integration. Data were collected on 22 employees with disabilities through semi-structured interviews with six employment specialists and participant observations of six employees at their community worksites. Data were interpreted using intergroup contact theory, a longstanding theory within the intergroup relations literature that addresses the role of contact in reducing prejudice toward members of negatively stereotyped groups. As predicted by intergroup contact theory, interviews and observations revealed that coworkers were…generally more accepting of an employee with a disability if (a) they had the opportunity to get to know the employee as an individual rather than as a stereotype or label, (b) they worked with the employee as an equal peer to accomplish common work goals, and (c) the employer or worksite supervisor unequivocally supported the equality and workplace inclusion of the employee with a disability. Findings suggest intervention strategies to promote inclusion in the integrated workplace.
Abstract: Prejudice and discrimination represent a major barrier to the recovery and community integration of individuals with serious mental illnesses. Yet, little is known about the diverse ways prejudicial practices are enacted at the workplace beyond blatant discrimination. This paper presents findings about the manifestations of prejudice and discrimination at the workplace. Data were gathered from a national sample of individuals with serious mental illnesses who reported perceiving negative attitudes at work as part of their participation in a larger study on sustained employment (n = 234) and from a subsequent study on workplace psychiatric prejudice and discrimination (n = 202).…Qualitative analyses of data collected through two different surveys informed the development of a comprehensive taxonomy that identified a range of prejudicial and discriminatory practices that fell within two contextual domains: work performance and collegial interactions. The specific categories within each of these domains represented a continuum of more subtle to more blatant expressions of psychiatric prejudice and discrimination that influenced workers with mental illnesses through different impact pathways. Study findings informed the development of a broader conceptual framework for understanding and combating psychiatric prejudice and discrimination in employment settings and improving the workplace inclusion and employment outcomes of individuals with serious mental illnesses.
Abstract: Clients with severe mental illness (SMI) often struggle in their efforts to maintain employment. One cause of early job terminations is interpersonal difficulties in the workplace. This study explored workplace social networks and their relationship with job outcomes and other employment characteristics for people with SMI. Results indicated that clients generally had positive experiences with both supervisors and coworkers. Contrary to our hypothesis, employment model was not associated with better workplace network characteristics. Also contrary to our hypothesis, clients employed in group placements did not differ in workplace network characteristics from those in competitive employment settings. Workplace network characteristics were…robustly correlated with job satisfaction, but not strongly related to hourly wages or overall job tenure. Job tenure at the time of the workplace network assessment did show a few modest negative correlations with supervisor and coworker support, indicating declining perceived social network support with increasing job tenure. Study limitations and future directions for research using this methodology are discussed.
Keywords: Social network, supported employment, vocational program, mental illness, social support, job outcome