Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 45, issue 1
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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: BACKGROUND : This study used the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework to examine the individual and interactional impact of personal characteristics, state vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, and state environmental factors on employment quality for people with disabilities served by the state-federal VR system. DESIGN: Quantitative descriptive research design using multilevel analysis. PARTICIPANTS: Data extracted from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) case service report (RSA-911) database and other related databases from FY 2007 to 2009 were analyzed using multilevel (hierarchical) linear modeling to investigate patterns explaining variations among state VR…agencies in achieving quality employment outcomes for consumers whose cases were closed successfully. RESULTS : Consumer characteristics predominantly predicted employment quality among the personal, service, and environmental factors studied. Personal factors also explained a considerable amount of between-state differences in quality employment outcomes. Improvement in educational attainment was related to higher employment quality, whereas receiving supported employment and job placement-related services were associated with lower employment quality. Additionally, the proportion of consumers receiving social security benefits in a particular state and state per capita income factors were strong environmental predictors of employment quality. CONCLUSION : Personal and environmental factors used in the present study were useful in predicting the quality of employment outcomes of VR consumers. However, developing a better measurement model for assessing quality employment and including additional factors in future research is warranted.
Keywords: Employment quality, people with disabilities, environmental factors, vocational rehabilitation, multilevel analysis
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Consumer preference and choice have been established as imperatives in effective employment service delivery for individuals with disabilities. Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), however, may face barriers in employment services that restrict their choices and opportunities for career development. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the current study is to analyze the vocational rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with ID compared with consumers with other disabilities in terms of the range of employment settings and earnings at closure. METHODS: Rehabilitation Services Administration data for a southeastern US state were attained through the ExploreVR database for this analysis.…RESULTS: The results indicate that individuals with ID were placed into food preparation and serving-related occupations (24.1%) and building and grounds cleaning/maintenance occupations (28.2%) at a disproportionately high rate relative to those in other disability categories. Mean weekly earnings for these categories were from 24% to 39% below the mean weekly earning across all available occupational categories. CONCLUSION: The results are discussed in terms of their implications for best practices in vocational rehabilitation with individuals with ID, and potential improvements to current practice are discussed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study investigated the experiences with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) across three phases of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) implementation: Phase I (pre-Sutton decision era, 1992–1999), Phase II (Sutton decision era, 2000–2008), and Phase III (ADA Amendments Act era, 2009–2011). OBJECTIVE: Research questions addressed differential (a) characteristics of charging parties and respondents, (b) patterns in the number and type of allegations, and (c) proportions of merit and non-merit EEOC judgments. METHODS: The study utilized data from the Integrated Mission System of the U.S. EEOC. RESULTS:…Findings indicated that proportionally more women and Hispanic adults with MS filed claims during Phases II and III than during Phase I. More older individuals and African Americans with MS filed claims during Phase III than during Phases I and II. In Phase I, adults with MS were more likely to allege discrimination against smaller employers and less likely to file charges against larger employers, a trend that reversed during Phases II and III. The annual number of resolved EEOC charges appeared to increase during Phase I, increase then decrease in Phase II, and increase during Phase III. Regardless of phase, most allegations pertained to either unlawful discharge or failure to provide reasonable accommodations. Although higher in Phase III than in I, the percentage of EEOC merit decisions was highest in Phase II. CONCLUSION: Over time, more typically disenfranchised individuals sought ADA protections, possibly due to publicity, support from advocates, and membership in a culture supporting diversity and nondiscrimination. The increased number of resolved allegations in Phase III was consistent with the greater inclusiveness attributed to the ADA Amendments Act. Interpretation of other findings is provided regarding characteristics of respondents, types of allegations, and trends in EEOC merit decisions.
Abstract: PURPOSE: To present the findings of World Café focused community conversations organized to identify existing and needed resources for transition age youth with disabilities. DESIGN : A qualitative descriptive research design. PARTICIPANTS: 52 professionals, parents, and students with disabilities with knowledge of transition services for youth with disabilities residing in a medium size city in the southern U.S. RESULTS: The results identified five important areas of service for transition age youth with disabilities. They are (a) demand side focused vocational rehabilitation services, (b) transition services for building employment skills, (c) connecting existing community based…resources, (d) advocacy services, and (e) parent and family involvement in transition. CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated the usefulness of community conversations in encouraging participants to think critically and in generating action plans to address a social exigency. In the process this study re-established the need for further investigation of the potential of community conversations to address key challenges facing diverse populations with disabilities, their families and communities, service providers, educators, researchers, and policy makers.
Keywords: World Café, community conversation, secondary transition
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This article applies positive psychology principles to the purpose and objectives of a five-year, federally-funded initiative to provide cognitive support technology (CST) training and career preparatory services for undergraduate college students with mild and moderate traumatic brain injuries (TBI). METHODS: A total of 48 students with TBI have participated in the project during its first 18 months of operation – 14 of whom are military veterans with disabilities who were in the Iraq and/or Afghanistan theaters. CONCLUSION: Positive psychology interventions such as Best Possible Self, Intensely Positive Experiences, and Asset-based Assessments provide a framework…for examining the activities of this multi-site development project.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The provision of assistive technology (AT) services could help people with disabilities overcome social and environmental barriers in the workplace to facilitate employment outcomes. However, little is known about the types of consumers who receive assistive technology services and who can most benefit from the services in vocational rehabilitation (VR). OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the characteristics of consumers receiving AT services in state VR agencies and identified complementary VR services associated with the provision of AT services. METHODS: A 10% random sample of VR consumers (N = 32,088) whose cases were closed in fiscal year…2009 (FY 2009) were extracted from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) database for a secondary data analysis multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: Only 10.4% of VR consumers closed in FY 2009 received AT services. The majority of AT recipients reported sensory impairments (60.4%) and physical impairments (27.6%). Consumers older than 65 years of age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.43; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.18–1.74), with associate’s degrees (OR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.15–1.41) and bachelor’s degrees or higher (OR = 1.77; 95% CI: 1.55–2.01), reporting sensory impairments (OR = 3.78; 95% CI: 3.39–4.21), receiving cash benefits (OR = 1.44; 95% CI: 1.29–1.60) and being employed at the time of application (OR = 1.79; 95% CI: 1.62–1.98) were more likely to receive AT services. Compared to European Americans, African American (OR = 0.77; 95% CI: 0.69–0.87) and Hispanic Americans (OR = 0.84; 95% CI: 0.73–0.98) were less likely to receive AT services. Moreover, AT recipients were more likely to also obtain comprehensive assessment (OR = 1.49; 95% CI: 1.38 to 1.66), college or university training (OR = 1.56; 95% CI: 1.38 to 1.76), occupational or vocational training (OR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.37), augmentative skills training (OR = 2.48; 95% CI: 2.09 to 2.94), and miscellaneous training (OR = 1.47; 95% CI: 1.30 to 1.66); but less likely to obtain job readiness training (OR = 0.75; 95% CI: 0.64 to 0.87) and job search assistance (OR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.76 to 0.99). CONCLUSION: The results provide insights into AT recipients in the state VR system. VR professionals and practitioners need to be aware of AT devices and job accommodation services as resources for people with disabilities to increase employability. Further consideration should be given to developing a systematic understanding of the provision of AT services in the VR system and evaluating its effectiveness.
Keywords: Assistive technology, people with disabilities, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the extent to which demographic characteristics, Social Security disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation (VR) services influence competitive employment outcomes for transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). METHODS: The Rehabilitation Services Administration’s Case Service Reports (RSA-911) database for Fiscal Year 2011 was examined using a purposeful selection multivariate logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Results indicated that participants who received on-the-job support, job placement services, rehabilitation technology, occupational/vocational training, other services, job search assistance, vocational counseling and guidance, and job readiness training from the state-federal VR program were significantly more likely to achieve…competitive employment than were participants who did not receive those services. In addition, higher levels of educational attainment, receiving a greater number of VR services, and not receiving Social Security disability benefits were positively associated with competitive employment outcomes. In contrast to findings reported in other studies of VR participants with ASD, gender was not associated with competitive employment outcomes. CONCLUSION: Overall, the number and type of VR services had more influence on competitive employment than did demographic variables or Social Security disability benefits.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Individuals with disabilities continue to be underrepresented in STEM education and employment, despite the strong group of STEM occupations in recent years. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of SPR/n Ablement’s unique efforts to assist people with physical disabilities to find employment in IT occupations. METHODS: The Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) approach was used to gain a rich understanding of employment services provided to people with sensory and physical disabilities by the n Ablement division of SPR Consulting, a medium-sized information technology (IT) company in Chicago. Interviews were…conducted with six SPR/n Ablement staff and administrators, six people with physical disabilities served by SPR/n Ablement, and five employers who had hired people with physical disabilities from the SPR/n Ablement’s candidate pool. RESULTS: Results suggest multiple opportunities for IT companies that include a focus on disability in their workforce diversity and inclusion programs. Results also highlight some of the unique opportunities and challenges for people with physical disabilities that may arise from receiving in-house, occupation-specific employment and training services. CONCLUSION: Implications for rehabilitation counseling practice and research are provided, including suggestions for facilitating other companies in their profit-driven goals for hiring people with physical disabilities.
Abstract: PURPOSE: To evaluate the mediation effect of self-efficacy on the relationship between secure attachment and employment status of people with spinal cord injuries (SCI). DESIGN: Quantitative descriptive research design using logistic regression, multiple regression, and correlational techniques. METHODS: One hundred and ninety individuals with SCI were recruited from the Canadian Paraplegic Association. Only individuals ages between 25–54 years (prime working age) were selected for this study. RESULTS: Secure attachment and self-efficacy were significantly related to employment status. Self-efficacy was found to be a significant mediator of the relationship between secure attachment and employment…status. CONCLUSION: Results provide support for the importance of building a strong working alliance and helping individuals with SCI in the professional practice of rehabilitation counseling.