Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 6, 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: Person-centered approaches, such as personal futures planning, are currently being proposed as alternatives to traditional systems-centered approaches for school-to-adult life transition services. Because of the time and other resource commitments required, many service providers and families do not readily embrace these approaches. As a result, many individuals with disabilities who could benefit from more person-centered planning approaches continue to receive traditional, systems-centered services. The purpose of this article is to discuss the application of selected person-centered planning concepts not as an alternative to traditional planning approaches, but as a mechanism for enhancing traditional IEP and transition planning approaches.
Abstract: People with disabilities often have more free time than their peers who do not experience a disability. This paper introduces people with disabilities, service providers, advocates and families to the basics of inclusive recreational programs. Characteristics of quality recreational programs include choice, age appropriateness, family involvement, leisure education, partial participation, and social rights.
Keywords: Disability, Community recreation activities, Family involvement, Social rights
Abstract: Supported employment has proven to be a successful service option in terms of outcomes and participant satisfaction. Most studies to date have focused upon the attitudes of employers, rehabilitation counselors, parents, and advocates with little information available as to the opinions of the consumers who are the primary customers. This article summarizes the views of 110 consumers of supported employment who share information about their experiences and their feelings about their jobs and the services they receive. Practical strategies and a Consumer Satisfaction Survey tool are presented to assist practitioners, consumers, and advocates with enhancing consumer choice and satisfaction in…supported employment.
Abstract: In the session entitled Stress and burnout — you've got to be kidding!!!! (How to manage your time and avoid stress as an employment specialist), the presenters shared the results of a study of employment specialists. The study examined how these individuals in the metropolitan Washington, DC area are coping with the pressures of their exciting but ever-demanding jobs. Information was provided to educate employment specialists on how to recognize stress and identify factors which may contribute to it. Suggestions for proactive strategies to reduce the occurrence of stress were offered, along with recommendations on how to effectively manage time…and cope with stress when it inevitably occurs. Managers of supported employment programs were also offered ideas about providing quality supports to one of their best customers, the employment specialist.
Keywords: Stress management, Time management, Supported employment, Employment specialists
Abstract: For many years individuals with the most severe disabilities have been denied the opportunity to participate in community integrated competitive employment. Parents and advocates have begun to get frustrated with the limited service that are available in local communities. Yet, efforts by parents to expand services have been stymied due to a lack of knowledge of supported employment, funding, policy and staffing issues. The purpose of this article is to describe the establishment of one supported employment program founded and directed by parents in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.
Keywords: Severe disabilities, Competitive employment, Parents, Supported employment program
Abstract: With a combined parental effort of 49 years, the authors have unequivocally realized that they have gone in circles with efforts to put in place an appropriate community life style for their children. This article briefly traces each author's individual experiences to date which have led them to ask: ‘When will parents’ perspectives and knowledge be relevant to the delivery of services or supports?' Several consumer/family driven initiatives; A Home of Your Own; Inclusion; Families Organizing for Change; and the possibility of a class action law suit as a tool for change, are discussed.
Keywords: Parents' perspectives, Community services and support, Individual experiences
Abstract: Over the last several years organizations and agencies, across the country, have begun developing and delivering excellent self-advocacy training programs. Classroom training programs, by themselves are not proving effective as a strategy to assist persons with disabilities to obtain suitable careers. Unemployment among persons with disabilities continues to remain at a high level. An effective self-advocacy mentor program can assist the customer in navigating the vocational delivery system in route to a career. With vocational rehabilitation programs coming under attack for being too expensive and ineffective, it is time to use creative and innovative approaches. Experienced self-advocates. serving as mentors,…and working in partnership with vocational counselors is an approach worthy of consideration. This article will describe the development of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center's self advocacy mentoring program.
Keywords: Self advocacy, Training programs, Development, Mentoring program
Abstract: Current legislation makes specific, many provisions such as affirmative action, research, promotion of new services, demonstration of innovative approaches, service to remote areas, new technologies to level the playing field and the systematic dissemination of this information. The present difficulty is in actualizing the theory and making good on the promise. This paper will review some of the important changes that have occurred over the last several years in the field of rehabilitation and share current trends. In addition, the purpose, goals and approach for a customer driven approach to organizational change will be provided. Key concepts related to this…new approach to organizational change will be highlighted.
Keywords: Organizational change, New approach, Rehabilitation
Abstract: Community-based rehabilitation organizations are undergoing profound change due to the influence of growing consumer self-advocacy, family need, resource redirection and policy change at local, state, and national levels. In changing to best support individuals with disabilities, community-based agencies are restructuring in substantive ways. This paper explores key elements that managers and leaders should consider when instituting change programs in their agencies. The recommendations contained herein are based upon anecdotal information collected while consulting with and providing training to community-based rehabilitation agencies nationwide.
Abstract: TransCen Inc. has provided consultation and technical assistance to over 700 companies nationwide since 1986. Through these business partnerships with companies both these large and small TransCen has played a significant role in the employment of 2500 people with disabilities. The purpose of this paper is to share some critical concepts that have been learned through these experiences that will aid supported employment programs to build strong relationships with employers while maintaining a strong customer service focus.
Keywords: Critical concepts, Business relationships, Supported employment programs
Abstract: This paper is the result of a crackerbarrel discussion session held at the Virginia Commonwealth University Symposium on Supported Employment in April 1995. The focus of this discussion session was a review of the experiences of participants in working with the business community to expand the employment of people with severe disabilities. This included discussion of lessons learned as well as specific ideas for defining and expanding a new partnership with business that benefits people with severe disabilities, the business community and the workplace. Based on the discussion, nine specific ideas are presented that show promise in defining this new…partnership.
Keywords: Employment, People with severe disabilities, Business community
Abstract: In 1988, St. Michael's House Research in Dublin, Ireland undertook a 3-year innovative project, OPEN ROAD, in order to promote the social and vocational integration of adults with more severe levels of intellectual disability (mental retardation). Specifically, OPEN ROAD worked with persons who had never been employed and who had never taken part in any type of vocational training. This paper describes OPEN ROAD's (1) small-scale yet radical departure from traditional services; (2) systems conversion which underlay all phases of the operation; and (3) key outcomes for participants, their families, employers and members of staff. In addition, emergent issues which…continue to shape the growth of the Supported Employment movement in Europe will be presented.
Keywords: OPEN ROAD, Intellectual disability, Social and vocational integration
Abstract: Successful implementation of supported employment in the Netherlands will only be obtained if this vocational integration strategy is tailored to the cultural context of the Dutch society. This paper will describe the implementation of supported employment in the Netherlands by identifying features of the labor market, as well as present some of the author's views on the cultural differences between the United States and the Netherlands. In addition, the Dutch mental health system and services for individuals with psychiatric disabilities will be discussed. Finally, efforts to include individuals with psychiatric disabilities in the Rotterdam labor market through supported employment will…be presented.
Abstract: The ‘Pachysandra Project’, sponsored jointly by Our House, Inc. and The Prudential Insurance Company of America, is a supported employment program which employs internal supports almost exclusively. Since its inception in 1992, eleven individuals, most with mental retardation, have been employed at The Prudential at three different locations. A project manager, who is a member of the staff of the Our House Employment Services, works on-site at the Newark, New Jersey headquarters of The Prudential. Co-workers of the supported employees are trained as mentors, and they, along with other departmental staff, provide the supports. The Pachysandra Project has demonstrated that…supported employees with developmental disabilities can perform well in a large corporate environment, providing valuable services to the company. Furthermore, it provides a model for replication in developing an internal support system in other corporations.