Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 47, 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: Individuals with ASD have some of the highest rate of post-graduation unemployment and competitive employment rates are very low. There is substantial research identifying specific person factors influencing employment outcomes, although there is very little research exploring the impact of environmental factors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to understand the impact of environmental factors on work satisfaction and performance from the perspective of adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). METHODS: Qualitative interviews were used to gather personal perspectives from working adults with ASD. The data was micro-analyzed for open coding and organized under…common categories. When data was saturated, axial coding occurred resulting in multiple categories linked together under a common central theme. RESULTS: Results identified the central category of Facilitators and Barriers of Person and Environment Fit for Work Satisfaction and Performance, which encompassed the categories, subcategories and links between categories. Both environmental factors and person-fit were identified as two overarching categories where barriers and facilitators were present. CONCLUSIONS: Adults with ASD identified that social interactions, attitudes, and the physical or sensory environment impacted perceptions of work satisfaction and performance. Future research is needed to better understand how to reduce environmental barriers in the workplace for adults with ASD.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, environment, work performance, job satisfaction
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Learning Community was established in 2002 to increase access to Individual Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment. In 2008, learning community leaders launched the Family Advocacy Project to advance the role of families in providing education and advocacy for IPS. OBJECTIVE: This paper describes the perspective of the Family Advocacy Project leaders in understanding the sustainment of IPS services. METHODS: Representatives from ten family teams were interviewed by phone using a structured protocol. RESULTS: Most of the state family advocacy teams were part of the National Alliance…on Mental Illness and included people other than family members. Education and advocacy were reported as the main goals of the teams. Facilitators and barriers to advocacy were described. CONCLUSION: The state family advocacy teams though small in numbers place a clear focus on advocacy and education activities that may impact the sustainment of IPS.
Keywords: Supported employment, role of families, individualized placement and support
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is a need for models of employment systems change to promote integrated, community-based employment outcomes in rural communities. OBJECTIVE: This study describes the development and preliminary outcomes of implementation of a model of employment systems change in three rural sites in a Midwest state. METHODS: The model combined training in research-based personal supports (i.e. Customized Employment and the Discovery process, and the Self-Determined Career Development Model [SDCDM]) with capacity building efforts designed to address environmental needs faced by support provider organizations and the community (i.e., training and ongoing support on implementing Customized Employment and…the SDCDM, creation and utilization of amalgamated funding strategies, creation of an Active Employer Council, use of social networks to build employment opportunities). RESULTS: Across three implementation sites, 88 providers and community members were trained in the model that included research-based personal supports, which were implemented with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. CONCLUSION: Implications for research and practice to promote employment systems change is described.
Keywords: Employment systems change, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, customized employment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The quality of the counselor-client relationship, as defined by the therapeutic or working alliance (WA) , has long been known to impact therapeutic outcomes (Horvath, Del Re, Flückiger, & Symonds, 2011 ; Lambert & Barley, 2001 ). Within the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) process, a strong working alliance has likewise been shown to result in better vocational and/or independence outcomes (Lustig, Strauser, Rice, & Rucker, 2002 ) due to more active client collaboration in vocational planning and follow-through with planned services, a strong predictor of outcome in therapy (Gomes-Schwartz, 1978 ). OBJECTIVE: As bonding between therapist/counselor…and patient/client is one essential element in the construct of the WA (Bordin, 1979 ), the sub-elements of bonding are considered in this review as they apply to the critical role of communication (Egan, 2013 ) between the generalist VR counselor (Cook & Bolton, 1997 ) and client who is hard of hearing or late-deafened. CONCLUSION: Communication challenges peculiar to these populations are explored, and how they impact the development of bonding and a functional relationship in the counseling setting. Finally, ways to reconsider and accommodate these challenges are reviewed.
Keywords: Working alliance, bonding, communication, hard of hearing, late-deafened
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Expanding competitive, integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) has remained an enduring emphasis of policy, advocacy, and research. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the pathways identified by two diverse communities for expanding employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Our particular interest was in comparing and contrasting rural and urban communities. METHODS: We used a mixed methods approach to examine (a) the ideas generated at two distinct “community conversation” events involving a diverse group of 146 stakeholders and (b) the findings from end-of-event and follow-up surveys.…RESULTS: Although attendees at both events suggested actions surrounding a common set of themes (i.e., developing employment opportunities, undertaking community-wide efforts, enhancing inclusive workplaces, equipping competitive applicants, strengthening school and transition services, supporting families in transition), they varied somewhat in how they proposed applying those actions locally. Most attendees affirmed the value of this structured approach to community dialogue and many later reported enacting ideas they learned at the community conversation. CONCLUSIONS: We offer recommendations for guiding communities in identifying local pathways for increasing competitive, integrated employment opportunities.
Keywords: Transition, competitive employment, systems change, intellectual disability
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Even well-educated people with ASD struggle with obtaining employment, partially due to social difficulties during interviews. Although increasing numbers of individuals with ASD are entering college, little research focuses on this population. Particularly little is known about how to help college students with ASD obtain jobs. OBJECTIVE: This study attempts to identify challenges with verbal communication during employment interviews that are specific to college students with ASD. METHODS: We administered mock employment interviews to 16 college students with ASD and 14 college students without disabilities. Responses to interview questions were coded for content and timing.…RESULTS: Students with ASD exhibited slower onsets of responses and greater variability in response length than students without ASD. Students with ASD reported less desire for social aspects of employment than other students. They did not differ in self-reported social difficulties in the workplace. Although they overwhelmingly fully disclosed disability status, they rarely shared strengths of ASD or how they overcame challenges. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the need to develop vocational interventions for college students with ASD that help them develop impression management techniques during interviews such as demonstrating interest in social aspects of the workplace, educating interviewers about positive aspects of ASD, and replying in a timely manner.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: People with serious mental illness (SMI) also want a job. Most employers shy away from recruiting staff with an increased risk of absence due to ill health. The Dutch situation may be of interest to other countries because employers are reluctant to hire staff due to the strong legal position of workers. This strong legal position protects workers in case of dismissal. In addition, employers are obliged to maintain salary commitments to workers in case of illness for an extended period of time. OBJECTIVE: What are the most effective strategies for employment specialists to use in order…to make contact with potential employers? If it works in the Netherlands, we suggest, it will work in other countries as well. METHODS: We interviewed successful Dutch employment specialists: individually as well in a focus group. A three-step analysis process inspired by grounded theory was used. RESULTS: We describe nine effective strategies for establishing contact with potential employers. CONCLUSION: Networking strategies are considered to be the most effective.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Labor market discrimination against people with disabilities by employers is an ongoing issue. Lack of information appears to be a causal factor of employers’ negative attitude to the labor market integration of people with disabilities. OBJECTIVE: This study is intended to: a) examine the attitudes of 40 private sector employers regarding hiring and integrating in their business people with visual impairments, and b) explore the variation of the recorded attitudes after the application of a short informative program. METHODS A relative structured questionnaire of 15 closed type questions was chosen as the research instrument and…was distributed to the participants both before and after the application of the informative program, which took place via the demonstration of a structured booklet. RESULTS: The results of this research initially revealed negative attitude of the employers in most of the questions. Post the informative program resulted however significant differences in the responses of the employers on most of the questions in regard to their intention of integrating people with visual impairments into their business. CONCLUSION: It turns out, that through briefing is possible to change people’s behavior, as the provision of information may result in the revision of existing attitudes.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Student veterans with disabilities are attending higher education programs at an increasing rate as a result of receiving educational benefits through the GI Bill. Yet limited data is collected by state agencies on the characteristics, needs, and preferences of this population. OBJECTIVE: This study describes an analysis of STEM as a viable career option for GI Bill recipients enrolled in two and four year public institutions in Virginia. Researchers explored the factors affecting the interests, enrollment, performance, and retention in STEM of GI Bill recipients with disabilities along with institutional and personal factors that impacted their decisions.…METHODS: A 48-item survey, titled GI Bill Recipients and Their Career Choices , comprised of a series of questions using dichotomous responses, checklists, and five point Likert type scales was distributed to 19,000 GI Bill recipients at two and four year public colleges and universities in Virginia. RESULTS: The results provide insights on some of the factors that influenced the decisions of GI Bill recipients about STEM, and the institutional characteristics and supports that contribute to their overall college experience. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences of GI Bill recipients with disabilities and their decision to select a STEM major remains an important area of research. Further study is needed to examine more in-depth the extent to which their disabilities played a role in how these decisions were made.
Keywords: Veterans with disabilities, STEM, higher education, GI Bill recipients