Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 47, 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: BACKGROUND: People with learning disabilities (LD) face challenges with labor force participation and postsecondary education. Research is limited on the success of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for those with LD. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the extent to which demographic characteristics, Social Security benefits, and VR services influence competitive employment outcomes for people with LD. METHODS: The Rehabilitation Services Administration’s Case Service Report (RSA-911) database for Fiscal Year 2013 was examined using a purposeful selection multivariate logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Results indicated that participants who received on-the-job support, technical assistance, job placement, occupational/vocational training, maintenance,…college or university tuition assistance, readers, other services, on-the-job training, information and referral, counseling and guidance, transportation, job search assistance, job readiness training, supported employment, and diagnostic and treatment services 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, being male, being Caucasian, receiving a greater number of VR services over a shorter period of time at a higher level of case expenditure, and not receiving Social Security disability benefits were positively 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: In the recent decades, there has been an emerging population of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) participating in vocational rehabilitation services to become gainfully employed. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to apply the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations to gain a better understanding of (a) the characteristics of people living with HIV who reported use of vocational rehabilitation (VR) and/or American Job Centers (AJC), (b) factors that contribute to use of these services, and (c) the effects of use of federal employment services on access to care and reduced health-risk behaviors. METHODS: Survey…research methods were used to collect data from a diverse sample of volunteer respondents. RESULTS: The majority of respondents were from low-income backgrounds and many had experienced significant barriers to employment such as homelessness, drug abuse, and incarceration. Chi-square tests of independence, factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used to address the research questions. The fit of the final structural equation model was good (RMSEA = 0.063, with 90% upper bound of 0.061, CFI = 0.95, TLI = 0.94). Overall, the findings indicate that the extent to which barriers to employment are experienced differs among those who used federal employment services and those who do not use either of these services. CONCLUSION: Although use of VR is associated with a reduction in health-risk behaviors, an important outcome associated with reduced onward HIV transmission, no such relationship was found with respect to use of AJC services. However, use of VR or AJC services was associated with increased access to care, indicating that both of these federal employment programs play an important role in achieving goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, National HIV/AIDS Strategy, vocational rehabilitation, American Job Centers
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have determined the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to range from 5% to 12% of school-age children and adolescents. Moreover, symptoms of ADHD, such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and distractibility, continue well into adulthood, negatively impacting the individual’s social, educational, and vocational development. Specifically, compared to their peers without ADHD, young adults with ADHD are more likely to drop out of school and fail to pursue post-secondary education, cultivate social relationships, and obtain and maintain competitive employment. OBJECTIVE: This article focuses on the transition-related needs of youth with ADHD. CONCLUSION: The authors make the…point that transition services should (a) be coordinated between school-based (e.g., special educators) and community-based (e.g., vocational rehabilitation counselors) professionals and (b) focus upon the unique skills of each student.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Relationships among consumer demographic variables, services, and employment outcomes for 7,776 16 to 19 year old and 2,183 20 to 24 year old consumers with ADHD were examined. OBJECTIVE: To examine employment outcomes, relationships among demographic and case service variables, and weekly earnings for African American, White, and Hispanic consumers with ADHD ages 16–19 and 20–24. METHODS: For research question one the criterion variable was successful employment or not employed. The predictor variables included consumer demographic and vocational rehabilitation service variables. Participants in both the 16–19 and 20–24 age groups were randomly split for cross…validation. RESULTS: Demographic variables of Hispanic and African American, high school graduation and postsecondary education, public support at application, and case service variables of college training, on the job training, job search assistance, and job placement were related to successful employment. White consumers earned significantly more than African American and Hispanic consumers in the 16–19 group, and significantly more than African American consumers in the 20–24 group. CONCLUSIONS: Implications for practice include: characteristics identified by ethnically diverse parents of professionals who made a positive difference in the life of their child and guidelines for collaboration identified by ethnically diverse parents.
Keywords: Transition, ethnically diverse youth, AD/HD
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Individuals must disclose their disability to their employer to benefit from work accommodations. Since individuals with multiple sclerosis often have “invisible” symptoms, they must decide whether or not to disclose their diagnosis to employers and whether the perceived benefits are worth the perceived risks. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify factors that may influence the decision to disclose disability to an employer and the consequences of disclosure for participants with multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: Qualitative analysis was conducted using narratives from 8 focus groups held in three US states (South Carolina, Georgia…and Ohio). All participants (N = 74) were 18 years of age or older, spoke English, and had worked after MS diagnosis, although not all were employed at the time of the study. In focus groups sessions, participants were asked “Did you decide to tell your employer about your MS? If so, how did it impact either finding or maintaining employment?” RESULTS: Narrative responses indicated eight themes that fell into two categories: decision to disclose and consequences of disclosure. In the category of Decision to Disclose , themes included (1) disclosing to explain, prepare, or educate, (2) general disclosure, no concerns, (3) limiting, delaying, or deciding not to disclose, and (4) unsure about future disclosure. Within Consequences of Disclosure , themes included (5) positive and supportive reactions, (6) mixed or variable reaction in the same work environment, (7) no real reaction, positive or negative, and (8) leading to termination of employment. CONCLUSION: Our findings shed important light on the diversity of considerations and impact on employment of disclosing disability in the workplace for those with MS and highlight the importance of individuals’ feeling that they have control over the process.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The aging of the Baby Boom generation (born 1946–1964) coupled with medical advances and declines in the birth rate have contributed to a growth in the numbers of older adults. Vocational rehabilitation counselors will play an increasingly important role in working to address the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in this demographic shift. OBJECTIVE: The goals of this paper are threefold: 1) to provide an overview of demographic trends and the implications of population aging for individuals, families, and society; 2) to consider the unique implications of specific emerging age-related disabilities; and 3) to describe the changing…role of rehabilitation counselors to address the growing needs of the aging population. METHODS: Through a review of the literature on population aging, disability, and vocational rehabilitation, we explored the implications of population aging for rehabilitation counselors. RESULTS: The review revealed implications of population aging for families, for work and retirement, and for health and disability. Rheumatoid arthritis and stroke were found to be among the most significant emerging age-related disabilities due to their prevalence and implications for employment in later life. CONCLUSIONS: The aging of the population has several implications for rehabilitation counselors, and these implications and recommendations for working with older clients and meeting their unique, growing needs are discussed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In this article, readers are introduced to a rare disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), an emerging disability that can substantially impair vocational functioning. OBJECTIVE: An overview of EDS and information about common co-occurring conditions are provided. CONCLUSION: Vocational implications of EDS are discussed, including functional limitations and recommended job accommodations. Strategies for illness self-management are explained, as well as potential interventions to improve career self-efficacy. Additional services to include in VR plans (e.g., peer supports, job development and placement services) are also examined.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: With increasing rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosed in children, youths, and adults, it is anticipated that growing numbers of these individuals will be in need of transition and vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. Characteristics of ASD that warrant consideration by transition and VR professionals are the heterogeneity of individuals in terms of degree and severity of impairment, the functional domains affected (particularly executive functioning and social communications), the need to take on a lifespan perspective and provide services in an early intervention context, and other conditions that commonly co-occur with ASD. Although research on ASD has focused primarily…on employment barriers and less on effective interventions to ameliorate these barriers, preliminary evidence has demonstrated support for the effectiveness of various transition-related interventions. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to explore applications of these interventions to transition planning. CONCLUSION: In the first part of this article, we provide an overview of clinical characteristics of ASD. Then we discuss vocational challenges for individuals with ASD. The remainder of the article focuses on transition and VR implications with specific attention paid to (a) interdisciplinary transition planning, (b) postsecondary educational supports and services, and (c) employment supports and services.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are known to face a multitude of challenges as they attempt to re-initiate or maintain their careers following onset of the disease. OBJECTIVE: Less is known, however, about the subjective experiences of people with MS regarding employment barriers. METHODS: Using the results of a larger national survey of the employment concerns of people with MS that was conducted in 2014–2015 as a basis for data collection, this qualitative study involved six focus groups comprising 20 people with MS and 27 MS service providers. RESULTS: Focus group participants offered…subjective perspectives on and suggestions for addressing employment barriers that represented four major themes: understanding the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, on-the-job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reassignment as a job retention strategy, and disclosure of disability. CONCLUSION: Findings are discussed within the context of existing literature.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous research identifies employment as a social determinant of health for persons with HIV/AIDS, specifically African American women. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the eligibility/acceptance and competitive employment rates of African American women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in comparison to the general population of persons with disabilities in the state-federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) system and (2) to determine the relationship between (a) demographic variables (i.e., age, education level at the time of application for VR services, and receipt of cash benefit) and VR services received (e.g., job placement) and (b) employment outcomes…for this population. METHODS: Chi square analysis was used to determine if there was a significant difference in acceptance/eligibility rate between the target population of African American women with HIV/AIDS and the general disability population. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between demographic variables and vocational rehabilitation services received on employment outcomes for the target population. RESULTS: Results indicate that the African American women with HIV/AIDS were found ineligible for services at a lower rate, 14%, than the general population of persons with disabilities served, 17%. However, even though they are more likely to be accepted for services, the competitive employment outcomes are lower than the general population of persons with disabilities. Results also indicate that the hypothesized demographic and VR service-related predictor variables were significantly related to competitive employment outcomes. Specifically, receipt of cash benefits and diagnostic /treatment VR services had a negative impact on employment outcomes. Factors positively associated with employment outcomes included receipt of job placement and maintenance services. CONCLUSIONS: Vocational rehabilitation counselors, researchers and other key stakeholders must identify the most effective strategies to assist African American women with HIV/AIDS in navigating the VR process from application to closure as competitively employed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This article examines the American chronic pain epidemic and its implications for vocational rehabilitation (VR) research and practice. OBJECTIVE: The incidence and prevalence of health conditions that result in or are characterized by chronic pain are presented, followed by a description of how mindfulness approaches in counseling can be used to help VR consumers with chronic pain cope with the effects of their conditions. CONCLUSION: Emphasis is placed on mindfulness strategies that can be applied in VR practice settings to help workers with chronic pain achieve job satisfaction, job satisfactoriness, job retention, and high levels…of quality of life.