Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 46, 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: One way for students to be more involved in transition planning is to provide their opinions and perceptions via self-report transition assessments. One such assessment is the Student Transition Questionnaire (STQ), which affords students an avenue to provide their input during the transition planning process. OBJECTIVE: The purposes of the current study were (a) to refine the STQ according to stakeholder feedback from the pilot study and (b) to replicate the STQ with a novel population. METHODS: Participants included 130 high school students with disabilities who completed the STQ, and 24 stakeholders who…participated in focus groups about the STQ. RESULTS: Results documented the internal consistency of the STQ’s factors and replicated earlier findings: that knowledge of Vocational Rehabilitation was an area of weakness and that students with learning disabilities were less familiar with Vocational Rehabilitation than other students. Items related to disability disclosure and self-advocacy were also rated low by participants. Participants’ self-reported areas of strength related to independent living skills. CONCLUSIONS: These findings have implications for using the STQ in transition planning and for student needs in the areas of Vocational Rehabilitation and self-advocacy.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: As the volume of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in vocational rehabilitation (VR) reaches a critical mass and leaders in the field recommend the need for a systematic and rigorous evaluation process that legitimizes and the effectiveness of those practices, a national registry in VR is clearly needed. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to provide the underlying rationale for the creation and maintenance of a user-friendly registry that would secure and support vocational service provision to improve employment outcomes and the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. METHODS: Collaboration from various entities is…necessary to ensure the resources and credibility required for a project of this magnitude. All stakeholders should participate in the process of specifying what should be included in the registry and how they would use it. RESULTS: A registry would be a valuable vehicle for providing empirically-supported VR services and information to practitioners, educators, researchers, policy-makers and the public. It would allow for better-informed choices and potential cost savings. CONCLUSIONS: A registry containing effective VR practices is a perfect complement to the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials and answers an important call from the VR community.
Keywords: Evidence-based practice, vocational rehabilitation, knowledge translation, service provision
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Unemployment is high among people with severe mental illness and often hinders community integration. OBJECTIVES: To inform the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation programs, our study examined whether self-perceived barriers to work differ among clinical and demographic subgroups of people with mental illness, and whether self-perceived barriers to work, clinical and demographic factors are related to employment outcomes. METHODS: Multivariate regression analyses were conducted on self-perceived barriers to work, clinical and demographic factors of N = 279 people with mental illness who presented to Career Management Service. RESULTS: Older as opposed to younger participants…were less likely to obtain competitive employment. Being of an ethnic minority group increased the likelihood of entering education/training but made it less likely to enter non-competitive employment, while no difference was found for obtaining competitive employment. A trend was found for people with schizophrenia versus those with a different diagnosis to be more likely to enter education/training and non-competitive employment. Except for health problems and social/structural disadvantages, self-perceived barriers to work were not related to actual employment outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that vocational rehabilitation for people with mental illness does not occur in isolation but is influenced by factors beyond clinical impairment which generally affect the labor market.
Keywords: Supported employment, vocational rehabilitation, severe mental illness, barriers, work participation
Abstract: BACKGROUND : This article derives from data provided by the National EEOC ADA Research Project at VCU. It is intended to document the nature and scope of discrimination as reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the enforcement agency for ADA, by persons with learning disabilities (LD). This article deals with the topic of discrimination “Issues;” i.e., the nature of the violations alleged by Charging Parties with learning disabilities. OBJECTIVE : To ascertain differences in the way people with LD experience workplace discrimination as compared to a general disability population. METHODS : Database mining and descriptive and…non-parametric analyses of high-prevalence issues associated with learning disabilities as contrasted with a general disability population. RESULTS : Findings indicate that in general the ranking of high prevalence issues is very similar for both groups. But for six select issues, the proportions of allegations filed by LD and GENDIS groups are markedly different. CONCLUSIONS : These differences show that “more prevalent in LD” discrimination issues tend to involve currently employed workers and have a punitive effect; e.g., disability harassment and intimidation, constructive discharge and discipline. On the positive side, failure to provide reasonable accommodation and outright unlawful discharge are less commonplace for LD charging parties. Currently employed LD workers and employers may benefit from understanding these nuances.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Transitioning from high school to adult life is one of the most challenging times for all youth; however, this step to adulthood presents additional demands to individuals with disabilities. The role of adult service providers, such as Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in the transition process for youth has become more and more prevalent. Yet, little is known about the involvement of CILs and their partnership efforts with local education agencies (LEAs). OBJECTIVE: This study explores the extent to which CILs are involved with serving transition-aged youth and collaborate with LEAs. METHODS: This study…consisted of a national survey. The sample included 198 CIL representatives from 38 states, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands that serve transition-age youth with disabilities. RESULTS: Based on the study findings, it appears that CIL professionals see secondary transition as a priority; however, participation in transition initiatives and collaborative partnerships with LEAs remains relatively low. Furthermore, although the majority of study participants perceive CIL and LEA coordination as extremely important, almost a quarter of them report actual practices as poor or non-existent. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are consistent with previous research on the importance and extent of CIL secondary transition services. Further research that would lead to practice-based initiatives to improve the secondary transition for youth with disabilities is needed. Obtaining CIL professional perceptions on promising practices and existing collaborative vehicles to promote better collaboration is sorely needed.
Keywords: Transition, youth with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), collaboration, rehabilitation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Finding and sustaining employment can be a challenge for persons with a physical disability (PwPD) because they may be limited in the work they can do, may require workplace accommodations, or experience discrimination. OBJECTIVE : Our aim was to understand how successfully employed PwPDs find and sustain employment, and to use this information to build a conceptual model. METHODS : We searched published studies on physical disability and employment from electronic databases (1980–2015) and bibliographical reviews of retrieved studies. We used meta-ethnography to synthesize the findings. RESULTS : We reviewed 19 studies and identified 10…themes highlighting common issues experienced by PwPDs. Using these themes, we developed a process model to illustrate the dynamic employment process PwPDs’ experience and the factors that create barriers or facilitators as they attempt to find, maintain employment, and/or advance at work. CONCLUSIONS : PwPDs encounter a range of barriers at different stages of their employment journey which make them feel “stuck” and “exposed” in lower-level positions with little opportunity to advance or to move laterally within an organization. This study provides a framework to help rehabilitation specialists, employers, and researchers understand what PwPDs need at each stage of their employment journey to attain more sustainable employment outcomes.
Keywords: Employment, disabled persons, qualitative research, meta-ethnography, social stigma
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Research into education and skill development of drug users to facilitate social and economic inclusion has not previously occurred in India. OBJECTIVE: This paper examines education and skill development in government, NGO and private drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities of India. METHODS: A mapping exercise was undertaken to identify drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities. A total of 119 responses received and one-third of drug users were described as illiterate or had achieved primary school only. RESULTS: The majority of facilities did not provide basic education but virtually all provided HIV and drug…education. A majority of facilities did not provide vocational education and livelihood skills and referrals to others for education and skills development were not common. CONCLUSION: To ensure and promote the social and economic re-integration of drug users into the community the provision of vocational education and skill development opportunities compatible with the needs of the society should be encouraged.
Keywords: Education, skill development, drug treatment, India
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Invisible disabilities refer to a range of mental and physical disabilities that, like visible impairments, vary in their origins, degree of severity and in whether they are episodic or permanent. Much of the mainstream literature on employment and disability does not consider the question of a person disclosing their hidden disability to an employer. While disclosure is the route to a workplace accommodation process and can be in the best interest of the employee with a disability, it is a highly risky decision to disclose with numerous potential disadvantages along with advantages. The resulting situation is the predicament…of disclosure for employees with invisible disabilities. OBJECTIVE: Employers can create a workplace culture that encourages disclosure by people with invisible disabilities by being clear about the competencies required for a job; giving as much information, in accessible formats, as possible in advance; and, in recruitment and selection processes, allowing opportunities for the individual to disclose. CONCLUSION: Many workplace accommodations for people with visible or invisible disabilities are actually about managing effectively rather than making exceptions: about having clear expectations, open communications and inclusive practices.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Centers for Disease Control (2015) indicate that cases of autism spectrum disorder have risen over the past several years, and in the U.S. a new case of autism is identified almost every 20 minutes. As individuals get older and transition out of school, the question becomes, are they entering adult services and is the field of rehabilitation counseling addressing issues related to this population. METHODS: A content analysis of six rehabilitation counseling journals from 2000 thru 2012 was conducted to determine the extent to which autism was addressed. CONCLUSION: The analysis identified…the prevalence of autism articles, theme content category, if the article was empirical or non-empirical, and deficits in the literature. Of the 1,769 articles, 22 addressed autism, with the greatest number being published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation , and the most frequently occurring theme being employment.
Abstract: BACKGROUND : Self-employment is an attractive option for people with disabilities because it offers a means to economic independence while overcoming barriers (ODEP, 2013 ). Compared to national averages, however, self-employment is an underutilized employment strategy in Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Cited reasons for this discrepancy include VR concerns about self-employment business failures and income potential. OBJECTIVE : This paper explores the viability of VR self-employment closures across geography. METHODS : We compiled 2008 and 2009 RSA-911 data with zip code and county variables from 47 VR agencies (n = 711,037 cases). We used Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA2) codes matched…on zip code to group cases into urban, rural, very rural, and isolated rural geography. RESULTS : Closure rates to self-employment increased as geography become more rural. Weekly earnings rates were similar across competitive and self-employment closures, but consumers closed to self-employment worked fewer hours per week (p ≤0.001) and earned significantly higher hourly wages (p ≤0.001). CONCLUSION : Data show that self-employment offers a viable employment option in terms of weekly earnings and hourly wages. Increased capacity in self-employment is important for rural consumers who face additional barriers to employment such as limited transportation options and a narrower range of competitive employment options.