Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 48, 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: Negative employer attitudes have been identified as a major barrier to employment for people who are blind or visually impaired, yet we know little about what influences employer attitudes toward this population. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to replicate an earlier study of predictors of employer attitudes towards people who are blind or visually impaired as employees, utilizing a larger sample of employers and including additional predictor and control variables. METHODS: An online survey was conducted with a national sample of hiring managers, resulting in a usable sample of 379. Multiple regression was…utilized to identify predictors of employer attitudes. RESULTS: Five variables significantly predicted employer attitudes: having hired someone in the past, knowledge about how work tasks can be accomplished, belief in knowledge, having a relationship with vocational rehabilitation (VR), and being female. Although communication with VR had a strong association with employer attitudes, having hired functioned as a mediator of the relationship between it and employer attitudes, indicating that communication with VR may influence employers’ hiring decisions. CONCLUSION: VR professionals should interact with employers as much as possible to encourage the hiring of people who are blind or visually impaired. Going beyond initial contacts to developing relationships is important.
Keywords: Employer attitudes, blindness, visual impairment, vocational rehabilitation, business development
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The years leading up to age 18 are important for youth recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) considering making human capital investments to prepare for the transition to adulthood. OBJECTIVE: This paper documents the employment and benefit outcomes of former child SSI recipients and estimates the association between vocational rehabilitation, vocational training, special education, and adult outcomes. METHODS: Multivariate analyses using linked survey and administrative data estimate the association between service receipt before age 18 and outcomes 13 years later, at ages 27 to 30, controlling for other factors. RESULTS: Vocational rehabilitation is…associated with a 9 percentage point increase in the likelihood of earnings above the annualized substantial gainful activity level and a 13 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of SSI or disability insurance (DI) receipt between ages 27 to 30. In contrast, vocational training is associated with a 6 percentage point increase in the likelihood of SSI or DI receipt, while special education is not statistically significantly associated with any of the adult outcomes analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest vocational rehabilitation improves long-term employment and economic independence, but confounding factors may contribute to the observed relationships.
Keywords: Social security disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, transition
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Youth with disabilities desire competitive employment, but most are placed in sheltered workshops. Illinois launched a pilot project to promote competitive employment for youth with disabilities, using Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based vocational model for people with serious mental illness. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the potential of IPS for youth with developmental and/or psychiatric disabilities. METHODS: We assessed fidelity to the IPS model, competitive employment outcomes, and implementation barriers over one year in 10 agencies in Illinois implementing new IPS programs for youth with developmental and/or psychiatric disabilities. Assessments included fidelity reviews, employment outcomes,…and semi-structured interviews. Project outcomes were compared against national benchmarks for fidelity and employment outcomes. RESULTS: All 10 programs successfully implemented IPS with four achieving a fidelity score above 100, the benchmark for good fidelity. Over a 12-month follow-up period, most programs increased quarterly employment rates, reaching a mean employment rate of 36% (SD = 14%) by the fourth quarter, approaching the national benchmark for good employment outcome. A lack of collaboration between systems, competing expectations, and stigma were the main implementation barriers. CONCLUSION: The overall good employment rate and fidelity scores suggest that IPS is a promising approach for youth with disabilities.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many people who are blind or visually impaired face difficulties with transportation due to their inability to drive. Accordingly, transportation is widely considered a barrier to employment for people who are blind or visually impaired, and transportation self-efficacy is a factor that may minimize the impact of this barrier. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine transportation self-efficacy and its association with employment among working-age adults with visual impairments who were non-drivers. METHOD: This study included data from 327 people who participated in a national transportation survey of individuals with visual impairments. A…multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to predict full-time employment based on transportation self-efficacy and other factors. RESULTS: Factors predicting full-time employment included census region, severity of vision loss, and years of education. Interaction effects indicated that odds of employment generally increased as transportation self-efficacy increased; however, the effect of self-efficacy was dependent upon age and age at onset of visual impairment. CONCLUSIONS: Transportation self-efficacy was an important predictor of employment, particularly for younger people and for those who experienced significant vision loss more recently. Vocational rehabilitation counselors and other service providers can provide support to consumers to increase their transportation self-efficacy.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many people with disabilities gain and retain paid employment through vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. Some empirical research has indicated that self-employment can be a viable employment option for people with disabilities. OBJECTIVE: We examined factors of successful self-employment of people with disabilities who had received vocational rehabilitation (VR) services across a recent five-year span. METHODS: We analyzed extant federal VR data from 2008 to 2012 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration using a special type of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique known as the Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) modeling to conduct validation and invariance testing.…RESULTS: The national model produced reasonable fit, but there was some regional misfit in the invariance models. These results were similar to those from another similar study that used MIMIC modeling on earlier federal VR data from the RSA. CONCLUSIONS: The generalizability of the MIMIC models in this study is limited; no causal inferences were or should be drawn. Using these results, further research should examine modification indices and test alternative MIMIC models of VR self-employment. Implications of this study for VR and policymakers and recommendations include changes to service provision for clients and greater flexibility in supporting self-employment based on individualization.
Keywords: Self-employment, people with disabilities, vocational rehabilitation, structural equation modeling, multiple indicators multiple causes model, validation and invariance testing
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Paraprofessionals play an integral role in educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students with ASD have unique learning characteristics which require specialized knowledge and skills in order to support them effectively in schools. However, paraprofessionals often do not receive the training needed to support this student population. OBJECTIVE: Delivering effective professional development to paraprofessionals is essential to the success of these students. METHODS: A model for delivering online professional development to paraprofessionals on a statewide level was implemented and evaluated. RESULTS: The evaluation concentrated on whether the online course changed the perceived…knowledge and implementation of evidence-based practices and the attitudes of paraprofessionals toward students with ASD. CONCLUSION: Additionally, the existence of a relationship between occupational characteristics and participants’ reported knowledge was explored.
Keywords: Autism/PDD, paraprofessionals, staff training, special education