Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 51, 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: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological disorders in the world, and it is increasing in incidence and prevalence in the United States. OBJECTIVE: This article describes the medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of MS. Current information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of MS is presented. The authors review recent research on the impact of MS on health, function, employment, and community participation. CONCLUSION: Important considerations for providing responsive vocational rehabilitation services to people with MS are thoroughly discussed.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, medical and psychosocial aspects, employment
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to introduce the Illinois Work and Well-Being Model as a framework that can be applied to facilitate the career development of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The model emphasizes the interaction of contextual and career development domains to improve participation in the areas of work, society, community, and home. CONCLUSION: A brief discussion of potential implications regarding vocational rehabilitation research, service, and policy is offered, with the overall goal of reinforcing career development as the foundation of vocational rehabilitation services for adults with MS and other chronic health conditions.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, vocational rehabilitation, career development
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This article presents descriptive findings from a sub-sample of 414 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) residing in rural areas that was derived from a national survey of the employment concerns of Americans with MS. OBJECTIVE: Respondents were asked to evaluate 38 employment concerns items on two dimensions, importance and satisfaction, for the purpose of identifying strengths and weaknesses in the employment policies and practices affecting the labor force participation of Americans with MS. RESULTS: Results revealed a total of 13 employment strengths and 25 employment weaknesses that must be addressed in direct service and advocacy…efforts if more rural residents with MS are to continue their careers while coping with this intrusive and unpredictable disease. CONCLUSION: Implications of these findings for future rehabilitation programming and research are examined.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has received considerable attention as a model of disability in recent years. Within the ICF framework, community integration and participation are considered one of the most important outcomes of health and rehabilitation interventions. Participation is a very complex and subjective concept and therefore very difficult to measure. Most participation measures are relatively long and not ideal for public health and rehabilitation surveillance or for testing complex models using structural equation modeling. OBJECTIVE: The main purpose of this study was to report the psychometric validation results for the brief…Multiple Sclerosis Community Participation Scale (MSCPS) with 256 individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). RESULTS: Participants indicated that living independently; getting around; participating in recreational and social activities; and engaging in health promoting behaviors are highly important and meaningful life roles, followed by participating in meaningful life roles as children, spouses, parents, and full-time workers. Being a student, church member, and a part-time worker were the least important life roles for people with MS in the present study. IMPLICATIONS: Because of its brevity, the MSCPS has an advantage over other long form participation measures, making it suitable for public health surveillance, community follow-up of patients recently discharged from hospitals, and for researchers who are searching for abbreviated measures to test complex ICF models. CONCLUSION: The MSCPS appears to be a promising rehabilitation/health assessment and public health surveillance tool for individuals with MS, one that can be used by rehabilitation counselors to assess levels of community participation in their interview, assessment, and rehabilitation planning protocols.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, community participation, functional disability, health-related quality of life
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate the patterns in allegations of workplace discrimination by individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). OBJECTIVE: To describe the discrimination, both actual and perceived, that has occurred against individuals with MS in comparison to a group of individuals with other disabilities (GENDIS) through analysis of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Integrated Mission System (IMS) database. METHODS: An ex post facto, causal-comparative quantitative design was used to examine Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) Title I complaints received by the EEOC from people with MS from…2009 through 2016 (n = 4,000) in comparison to the GENDIS group over the same time period (n = 139,728). RESULTS: The MS group was less likely to allege discrimination regarding discharge but more likely to allege discrimination regarding reasonable accommodation, constructive discharge, discipline, insurance benefits, and demotion. Charging parties with MS were more likely to be female, younger, and Caucasian and less likely to identify as African American, Hispanic/Mexican, or Asian. The EEOC was more likely to evaluate allegations by adults with MS as having merit than those filed by the GENDIS group. Implications for vocational rehabilitation practice include the need for consultation regarding recognition of on-the-job discrimination and procedures for filing allegations consistent with EEOC guidelines; greater use of physical and occupational therapy; and development of cognitive support technology strategies to aid in job performance.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the factor structure of satisfaction ratings on a collection of 38 employment concerns items among people with Multiple sclerosis (MS). RESULTS: Analyses included a cross validation to establish and confirm a factor structure. The original 38 items were reduced to 17, which were found to form three distinct factors during the calibration portion of the cross validation. These three factors were Environmental/Personal Resources, Fair Treatment, and Legal Rights, which were confirmed during the validation portion of the cross validation. CONCLUSION: It appears that the three-factor structure of…these 17 items is suitable for use with individuals with MS in the evaluation of their employment-related concerns and in the subsequent delivery of rehabilitation interventions.
Keywords: Measurement, multiple sclerosis, employment, factor analysis, dichotomous data
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is among the most prevalent chronic neurological conditions worldwide and is associated with a wide range of symptoms and psychosocial impacts. Quality of life (QOL) is recognized as a comprehensive and person-centered framework for exploring and understanding these impacts. Although there is a strong history of including people with MS in the development of health-related and patient-reported outcomes QOL instruments in MS, there have been relatively few large-scale qualitative investigations of what is important to the QOL of people with MS. As part of an ongoing evaluation by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), in which…the NMSS is seeking to evaluate the impact of its work on the lives of people living with MS, we surveyed a sample of 748 Americans with MS about the areas of their life that are most important to their QOL. RESULTS: The results suggest that social relationships, health, independence, and participation in meaningful activities, including employment, were among their top priorities. The diversity of life areas identified underscores the importance of understanding the individual’s unique priorities and experiences of QOL, and recognizing the diversity of the population. CONCLUSION: The results are discussed in terms of the implications for understanding of priorities and experiences of Americans living with MS.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, quality of life, chronic illness
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Parent expectations are known to be significant predictors of postsecondary outcomes among youth with disabilities. However, little is known about the relationship between parent and youth expectations and their differential prediction of postsecondary outcomes among youth with disabilities. OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between parent and youth expectations among students with disabilities in the United States. METHODS: Through analysis of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), we compared wave two parent and youth expectations across disability categories (N = 1,940) and explored the extent to which they predicted youth postsecondary outcomes. RESULTS: We identified…that parent and youth expectations are related but significantly different, with parents consistently holding less independent expectations than youth. Both parent and youth expectations were identified as significant predictors of postsecondary outcomes, with youth expectations more strongly predicting education and independent living outcomes, and parent expectations more strongly predicting employment and Social Security benefit outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Transition providers should work with parents and youth to develop collaborative goals and expectations to best support youth with disabilities for independent activities in adulthood.
Keywords: Transition, special education, parent expectations, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is substantial evidence that a lack of social skills and social competence is the primary barrier to gaining and maintaining employment for individuals with IDD. Data on employment outcomes along with scholarly literature on social skills education provide evidence that current programming is unsuccessful for individuals with IDD transitioning into the workplace. OBJECTIVE: This literature review provides a broad overview of innovative media and technology offering educators novel practices and strategies to improve interview performance and employment preparation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disorder (IDD). RESULTS: The literature shows that multiple currently available…technologies, including virtual reality and mixed reality, can improve the social skills required for successful interpersonal interactions and interviewing in individuals with IDD. CONCLUSIONS: Transition educators should be encouraged to consider how innovative technologies can be used to support the development of social skills for students with IDD in employment preparation.
Keywords: Interviewing, technology, employment, virtual reality, social skills, intellectual disability
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Ticket to Work Incentives and Improvement Act provides work incentives for Social Security Administration (SSA) beneficiaries with various disabilities. Of the 9,963,114 tickets “rolled” out, approximately 64,000 Tickets were used. The small amount utilized indicated a further need to investigate individual Ticket usage. OBJECTIVE: This article takes a policy perspective, exploring and discussing personal experiences of Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries who received a “Ticket to Work” in 2003. METHODS: A small pilot survey was administered to five beneficiaries. A close read of the responses in concert with a discursive approach was conducted to determine…additional factors that may play a role in the participants’ decisions to use their Tickets. RESULTS: Participants were overwhelmed with the amount of information provided in the Ticket packages and perceived disincentives (e.g., loss of existing health care and disability benefits) to act on their Tickets. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the ambiguity expressed by the participants, customized employment may be a viable solution to reduce load on agencies and increase participation in Federal programs. From a policy perspective, this study illustrates the value of small pilot studies and first-person accounts to determine participants’ ability to understand complex activities and to decide to act. It also reinforces the importance of consumer-led input into long-term support programs.