Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 9, 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: This paper provides an overview of how person-centered planning principles and practices can be used within supported employment programs to provide work-related preferences and choices for people who have the most severe developmental disabilities. The importance of using person-centered practices in job assessment and development activities is discussed and a summary of the applied research on assessing preferences and providing choices for people with the most severe disabilities is presented. Findings within the research indicate people with even the most significant disabilities have distinct preferences. Additionally, providing systematic choice opportunities to access preferred activities has been shown to enhance skill…acquisition, productivity and general enjoyment among individuals who have severe disabilities. Implications of the research findings for supported employment personnel are summarized, with an emphasis on different means of incorporating individually tailored choice opportunities within job assessment practices to ensure developed jobs match employees' vocational preferences.
Keywords: Person-centered planning, Supported employment, Severe disabilities, Choice, Personnel training
Abstract: As the number of people with severe disabilities receiving supported employment services increases, so do the ‘calls’ for improving services through the use of natural supports, co-worker supports, expanding employer capacity, consumer-driven services, self-instruction and self-management. While each of these strategies impacts service delivery, they also have direct implications for preparing individuals to be supported employment specialists. This article describes the skills and competencies needed by supported employment specialists in the area of job training and support which can be divided into two major roles: (1) training, which includes teaching job skills using systematic instruction; and (2) consultant, which includes…teaching others how to provide workplace supports for both job-related and social interaction skills.
Abstract: An essential aspect of systematic instruction is the instructors' efforts to assess the positive impact of their instruction. However, the full effect of systematic instruction cannot be assessed only through documentation of increases in target skills. Instead, additional measures are necessary to fully evaluate the success of instructional efforts. This article discusses eight dimensions across which the success of systematic instructional efforts can be assessed with learners with severe disabilities. For each dimension, suggestions are offered for practitioners on ways to efficiently document the impact of their systematic instruction. Altogether, these dimensions highlight the importance of overall quality of life…enhancement as a fundamental result of our instructional efforts.
Keywords: Instructional outcomes, Generalization, Maintenance choices, Skill acquisition, Social validity
Abstract: This article is intended to challenge the field of supported employment to enter into a new dialogue in which professionals agree that all people, regardless of life circumstances, need support systems in order to be successful. Furthermore, support systems can look vastly different from one another. The authors suggest that little benefit comes from arguing over which is better, or more cost-efficient: natural supports or job coaching. An alternative approach would be to view all support strategies in a customer service and accommodation framework. The concept of customer service is discussed and suggestions for identifying person-to-person support strategies are provided.
Keywords: Natural supports, Supported employment, Job coaches, Job site training
Abstract: The effectiveness of a natural support strategy, co-worker instruction with social skills instruction, on increasing the integration of a worker with developmental disabilities in a supported employment setting was examined in this study. The intervention consisted of three phases: (1) teaching a non-disabled co-worker instructional skills and having the non-disabled co-worker then teach the worker with a disability a new job task; (2) having the non-disabled co-worker encourage other non-disabled co-workers to interact with the participant; and (3) teaching a series of appropriate conversational exchanges to the participant. Integration data were collected using direct observation, social validation and global measures.…Results demonstrated that the intervention strategy increased the social integration of the participant.
Keywords: Natural supports, Social skills instruction, Integration
Abstract: As more attention is focused on the reduction of the high unemployment rate of people with disabilities, more demands are being made on the rehabilitation counselor-employment specialist relationship to produce timely and consumer driven career choices. Interagency collaboration between rehabilitation counselors and community rehabilitation providers can be a critical element in the efficient use of supported employment for people with disabilities. Often, in the effort to define and clarify each other's roles, professionals spend valuable time that could otherwise be devoted to the direct provision of supported employment services. This interview describes the relationship between a rehabilitation counselor and community…rehabilitation provider that results in a collaborative problem solving approach to developing and implementing supported employment services. Barriers to teamwork and practical solutions to those barriers are discussed.
Keywords: Collaboration, Systems change, Team building, Interagency development, Interagency rehabilitation, Interagency rapport
Abstract: This paper describes a university sponsored training program for supported employment specialists called Get Supported Employment Training (GET-SET). The purpose of GET-SET was to increase the supply of qualified supported employment personnel through a nine-credit continuing education program. Because many supported employment initiatives require interagency Collaboration, this training program focused on recruiting cross-agency teams as trainees. These teams consisted of representatives from education, rehabilitation, mental retardation and mental health agencies and family members. Each team participated in 2 full weeks of course material and collaborated on practical experience in which they jointly coordinated supported employment services for consumers in their…local communities. These cross-agency teams addressed many systemic issues such as: family and consumer empowerment; community-based work experiences for youth in transition; integrated planning; and cross-training for parents, consumers and service providers at the local level. Outcome data on the impact these teams have had on consumers, as well as continued efforts at the local level are documented.
Keywords: Supported employment, Transition, Interagency collaboration, Cross-agency teams
Abstract: This article describes the barriers that people with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) face when attempting to re-integrate back into their community. We stress the importance of having a basic knowledge of rights, knowing how to use them and having the right supports to facilitate the reintegration process. Individuals with disabilities have become familiar with laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (1988) and the Social Security Work Incentives. Through their expertise and/or personal experience, they describe how having a knowledge of those laws can play a critical role in making re-integration…possible. Before knowledge can truly be power, customers must be equipped with the tools to put that knowledge into action. This article explains the whole thrust of the self-advocacy component is based on the theory that knowledge is power. Both the basic and the mentor training were created and are being delivered through the Self-Advocacy Leadership Institutes. These Institutes were designed so people with SCI will have the knowledge and tools to utilize their rights. Even when customers have knowledge about their rights under the ADA, a knowledge of Assistive Technology and of Social Security WIs, it is useless information unless they know how to use these rights. Even when one has knowledge and is equipped with the tools to use that knowledge, the road back to the community can be bumpy and full of pitfalls. Having the knowledge with the tools to use that knowledge and having the support of an experienced mentor can make the road to the community much smoother for people with SCI.
Keywords: Customers with spinal cord injuries, Assistive technology, Self-advocacy, Rights, Community re-integration, Social security work Incentives, Employment, Empowerment