Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 58, 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: Paid work during high school serves as a steppingstone to postsecondary employment for young adults with severe disabilities. Yet, youth with significant cognitive impairments rarely have the opportunity to experience paid work during high school. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify the range of facilitators that promote paid employment for youth with severe disabilities during high school. METHODS: We conducted individual and focus group interviews with 74 special educators, adult agency providers, school district leaders, parents of youth with severe disabilities, and local employers. RESULTS: Participants discussed 36 facilitators spanning…nine major categories: collaboration, training and information, attitudes and mindsets, supports for youth, youth work experiences, knowledge and skill instruction, staffing, individualization, and transportation. We identified similarities and differences in the factors emphasized by each of the five stakeholder groups. CONCLUSION: Renewed attention should be focused on key practices and partnerships needed to facilitate community-based work experiences for youth with severe disabilities prior to graduation.
Keywords: Paid employment, facilitators to employment, intellectual disability, autism, transition
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is clear federal priority to develop effective strategies to mitigate the continued disparity in employment opportunities and outcomes for people with significant disabilities. At the same time, there are calls for rehabilitation practitioners to understand, utilize, and implement evidence-based practices (EBP) with fidelity to improve rehabilitation outcomes, such as competitive integrated employment. Customized employment (CE) emerged as a promising practice that promotes improved employment outcomes. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this manuscript is to describe published literature on CE and to make recommendations on the best methods for establishing CE as an evidence-based practice. METHOD:…We included 10 articles classified as “data-based” articles from a review of the literature on CE conducted by Riesen et al. We also conducted an electronic search of articles on CE published between 2015 and 2021. RESULTS: This review indicates that CE research is predominantly descriptive. Based on the results of the review, we categorized CE research into three types: model description and project evaluation, perceptions of CE, and essential structure and competency. The descriptive studies suggest that CE produces quality employment outcomes for people with disabilities. CONCLUSION: While research on CE has expanded, future research on CE should use more robust indicators including (a) quality descriptions of the participants, (b) quality descriptions of settings and conditions, (c) descriptions of the independent variables, (d) descriptions of fidelity to procedures, and (e) quality descriptions of social validity measures. Researchers should also focus on using correlational research to establish customized employment as an evidence-based practice.
Keywords: Customized employment, evidence-based practices, significant disabilities, literature review
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Supported employment has long been recognized as one of the most effective services for individuals with the most significant disabilities in achieving competitive integrated employment (CIE) outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This study examined the effect of supported employment interventions on the employment outcomes of transition-age youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities served by state vocational rehabilitation agencies using a propensity score matching (PSM) approach. METHODS: We conducted a non-experimental causal comparative study with PSM to create a treatment group (n = 2162) and a comparison group (n = 2191) using the Rehabilitation Services Administration Case Service Report database…(Program Year 2018). Chi-square test and t -test were used to analyze the differences between the treatment and control groups on employment outcomes, hourly wage and hours worked per week. RESULTS: Results demonstrated that transition-age youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities who received supported employment were more likely to achieve CIE, earn higher wages, and work longer hours weekly than the control group. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that supported employment is an effective service for enhancing the vocational rehabilitation outcomes of transition-age youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities and provides valuable information for policy makers, health care providers, rehabilitation counselors, and educators.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Americans with disabilities have historically faced substantial barriers to employment participation. The state-federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) program has played an important role in increasing the employment opportunities of Americans with disabilities through the provision of services and supports designed to lead to high-quality employment, independence, self-sufficiency, and full integration into the community. OBJECTIVE: The Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC–QE) was designed to bring together the broad range of existing quality employment strategies and supporting practices, identify and implement new ones, and incorporate them into an integrated training and technical assistance plan, consistent with…the circumstances and priorities of each State VR agency that requests technical assistance. METHOD: In the present paper, we present the results of a needs assessment survey conducted among State VR rehabilitation counselors and professionals in cooperating rehabilitation agencies and services. RESULTS: The purpose of the present study was to determine technical assistance and training needs of State VR counselors in four practice domains: (a) outreach services, (b) pre-employment transition services, (c) vocational rehabilitation services, and (d) employment services. CONCLUSION: Implications and future directions are also discussed.
Keywords: Disability, vocational rehabilitation, employment, service delivery
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Although competitive integrated employment (CIE) has been established as a goal of employment policy and practice for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), many still receive segregated vocational services for subminimum wage. This persistence of segregated vocational services has occurred despite substantial previous research recommendations and policy directives to encourage CIE. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this systematic review was to examine whether recent research might provide further evidence of the role of segregated vocational services in contributing to or detracting from positive outcomes. METHOD: Our review searched peer-reviewed literature from seven electronic databases and…screened 589 peer-reviewed articles based on inclusion criteria established following PRISMA guidelines— resulting in a final sample of five studies. In the second phase of our analysis, we provide a comparison of segregated and integrated vocational services in terms of individual outcomes. RESULTS: Our findings provide further evidence against the use of segregated vocational services for individuals with IDD. CONCLUSION: Implications of these findings for future research, policy, and practice are provided.
Keywords: Employment, intellectual and developmental disabilities, segregation, communityintegration, systematic review
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Adequate, accessible public transportation is essential to fully address social and economic disparities that exist among individuals with disabilities. Despite removal of many physical barriers within transportation systems, significant barriers to public transportation for people with disabilities are still widespread. OBJECTIVE: Transportation is commonly cited as an obstacle to employment for individuals with disabilities, and as a result, a thorough analysis of specific factors influencing the use of public transportation by individuals with disabilities is necessary to fully understand patterns of use. METHOD: The current study used a national sample of individuals with disabilities in…pursuit of employment to investigate characteristics that predict the receipt of transportation services by vocational rehabilitation personnel. RESULTS: Results indicate individuals who were not employed, who were receiving welfare and/or TANF, who were homeless, who were living in rehabilitation facilities, and/or who were living in substance abuse treatment centers were more likely to receive transit services from vocational rehabilitation programs. Also, individuals with substance use problems, mental health disorders, HIV/AIDS or other immune deficiency disorders, and/or people from racial or ethnic minority backgrounds were more likely to receive transit service support from vocational rehabilitation programs. CONCLUSION: Improvement in transportation services for individuals with disabilities is needed on a systems and individual level. State rehabilitation counselors can evaluate the extent high-risk clients identified in this study can benefit from transit services as well as other wrap around services that can improve their engagement in VR services leading to better employment outcomes.
Keywords: Disability, employment, public transportation, daily life
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Customized employment (CE) is a highly relevant but underused strategy for individuals with significant disabilities. It is important to examine how CE has been utilized in state vocational rehabilitation agencies (SVRAs). OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to identify SVRAs’ CE service patterns and outcomes from 2017 to 2020. METHODS: Descriptive analysis, chi-square, and t -test comprised data analysis. RESULTS: 78% of the consumers receiving CE were associated with 10 SVRAs. This sample (N = 1,779) was 57.4% male and 42.6% female and had a mean age of 31.61 years. 77% were White. The…frequent services provided with CE were VR counseling and guidance, assessment, and job placement assistance. Based on the service provision pattern, the agencies were separated into Group A, using co-occurring services other than supported employment (SE), and Group B, using SE along with CE. Consumers served by Group B are more likely to have cognitive impairment, intellectual disability, and the most significant disability. Group A is associated with lower employment, higher weekly earnings, and weekly hours worked. CONCLUSION: VR agencies and providers should consider these findings to refine and improve their service delivery and policies/procedures particularly for customized employment.