Rehabilitation Research Policy and Education

Authors: 
Arango-Lasprilla, J. C., da Silva Cardoso, Wilson, L. M., Romero, M. G., Chan, F., & Sung, C.
Year Published: 
2011
Publication: 
Rehabilitation Research Policy and Education
Volume: 
25
Number: 
3
Pages: 
149-162
Publisher: 
Elliott and Fitzpatrick Inc.
Background: 

Employment impacts the quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injury. Most studies that look at vocational service patterns for individuals with spinal cord injury focus on European Americans. Ethnic minority groups within the United State are growing. These changes also impact referrals to Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems. This presents new challenges to rehabilitation professionals.

Purpose: 

The purpose of this study was to identify demographic and service related patterns for Hispanics with spinal cord injury receiving services from state vocational rehabilitation agencies and examine similarities and differences in vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes between a group of European Americans and Hispanics with spinal cord injuries.

Setting: 

This study included individuals with SCI served by multiple vocational rehabilitation agencies in various settings.

Sample: 

Data for this study came from the Rehabilitation Services Administration Case Service report %

Control: 
There was no control or comparison condition.
Findings: 

Minor differences in case dollar expenditures and service patterns were noted between the two groups. Vocational rehabilitation services that impacted successful work outcomes included: assistive technology services, basic support services and job placement services.

Conclusions: 

Hispanic status of vocational rehabilitation clients does not affect employment outcomes. Hispanics appear to have more risk factors than European American clients. Vocational rehabilitation counselors were able to support the needs of Hispanic clients.

URL: 
http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ987046
Disabilities: 
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Attachment and Employment Outcomes for People With Spinal Cord Injury: The Intermediary Role of Hope

Authors: 
Blonk, R. W., Brenninkmeijer, V., Lagerveld, S. E., & Houtman, I. L.
Year Published: 
2017
Publication: 
Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Volume: 
60
Number: 
2
Pages: 
77-87
Publisher: 
SAGE
Background: 

Compared to people without disabilities, people with spinal cord injury (SCI) have significantly lower employment rates. There are approximately 270,000 people in the United States living with a SCI. Recently, industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology has focused on adopting positive psychological approaches to work related behaviors. Positive organizational behavior (POB) and I/O psychology findings indicate that attachment and hope are related to important vocational variables.

Purpose: 

This study explores the relevance of attachment and hope for vocational rehabilitation (VR), in relation to full time employment, for individuals with SCI. More specifically, this study aims to a) examine the relationship between attachment, hope, and full-time employment for individuals with SCI, and b) to examine the mediation effect of hope on the relationships between attachment and full-time employment for individuals with SCI.

Setting: 

Participants were recruited from SCI advocacy organizations, specifically through newsletters. Data were collected via an anonymous online survey.

Sample: 

Participants (N =84) ranged from 21 to 64 years of age (M= 47.05,SD= 10.72). There were 57 males, and 26 females in the sample, with one participant not responding to the gender question. Participants were predominantly Caucasian (88.1%), with 48 participants reporting being unemployed (57.2%) and 23 participants reporting full-time employment (27.4%). A large majority of participants (85.5%) reported completing some post-secondary education.

Data Collection: 

Employment was coded as binary, employed full time or not employed full-time. The Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ, Feeney, Noller, & Hanrahan, 1994) was used to measure attachment. The Trait Hope Scale (THS; Snyder et al., 1991) was developed as a 12-item instrument to score total hope, pathways thoughts, and agency thoughts.

Intervention: 

There was no intervention.

Control: 

There was no control group.

Findings: 

Results indicate that attachment and hope were significantly related and predictive of full-time employment. Hope was also a significant mediator between attachment and full-time employment.

Conclusions: 

Vocational rehabilitation counselors should strive to maintain and enhance positive time perspective for individuals with secure attachment. Individuals with low agency/low pathways experience increased barriers to the goal pursuit process and would benefit from increased direction.

URL: 
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0034355215621036
Disabilities: 
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Evidence-based secondary transition predictors for improving post-school outcomes for students with disabilities

Authors: 
Texler, L. E., Texler, L. C., Malec, J. F., Klyce, D., & Parrott, D.
Year Published: 
2009
Publication: 
Career Development for Exceptional Individuals
Volume: 
32
Number: 
3
Pages: 
1-22
Publisher: 
Hammill Institute on Disabilities and Sage
Background: 

Post secondary school outcomes for youth with disabilities are poor. For example, the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 Wave 3 data indicated students continue to live with their parents, did not attend post secondary education and had high rates of unemployment as compared to their non disabled peers, after exiting school. The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center had been identifying evidenced based practices to help improve these and other outcomes. The Council for Exceptional Children was also looking for evidenced based practices in Special Education.

Purpose: 

The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the secondary transition correlational literature using recommended quality indicators to identify in-school predictors of improved post school outcomes for students with disabilities.

Setting: 

This study is a systematic review. The included studies were undertaken in various locations and settings.

Sample: 

One hundred and sixty two articles were identified for review. Sixty three passed an analyses and were passed on for further review. Among these, 35 were excluded which left 28 articles for comparison against a quality of evidence checklist for correlational research. This resulted in 22 articles for final review. Three were exploratory studies and the others were a priori studies related to students with disabilities.

Data Collection: 

The remaining studies were examined for the following: population, sample size, predictor variables, postschool outcome variables, type of statistical analysis used, relationships among variables, significance levels, and data that allowed for calculation of effect sizes. It was not possible to extract conclusions across studies, so the researchers chose to convert significant relationships to standardize effect size measures to allow comparisons. Various conversions were calculated.

Intervention: 

The interventions were various transition practices.

Control: 

There were no comparison or control conditions.

Findings: 

A review of the literature identified 16 evidence-based in school predictors of post-school outcomes. These include: career awareness, community experiences, exit exam requirements/high school diploma status, inclusion in general education, interagency collaboration, occupational courses, paid employment/work experience, parental involvement, program of study, self advocacy/self determination, self-care/independent living skills, social skills, student support, transition program, vocational education and work study. Some negative findings were also found. Two studies reported negative relationships between secondary transition predictors and one or more post school outcomes. Among the 16 predictor categories: inclusion in general education, paid employment and work experience, self care/independent living, and student support improved outcomes in all 3 post school outcome areas.

Conclusions: 

The results from this review provide information to help practitioners improve post school outcomes for students with disabilities. Combining knowledge gained from this review with evidenced based instructional practices should provide state and local education agencies with a foundation to improve programs and thereby increase post school outcomes.

URL: 
http://sites.bu.edu/miccr/files/2015/03/Evidence-based-secondary-transition-predictors-for-improving-post-school-outcomes-for-students-with-disabilities.pdf
NIDILRR Funded: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Waging a living: Career development and long-term employment outcomes for young adults with disabilities

Authors: 
Linsay, S., & DePape, A. M.
Year Published: 
2011
Publication: 
Council for Exceptional Children
Volume: 
77
Number: 
4
Pages: 
423-434
Publisher: 
Exceptional Children
Background: 

Employment rates for individuals with disabilities are poor and contribute to the ongoing high poverty rates for this group. Although overall employment rates have risen over the years, work outcomes for young adults with disabilities still lag behind those without disabilities. Career development takes place overtime and is influenced by multiple variables such as individual, family, school, and community factors. However, for individuals with disabilities, career development is often complex, nonlinear, and chaotic. High school and post-school services can have a positive impact on employment for youth with disabilities. Students with disabilities who participate in vocational courses and community based work experiences are more likely to obtain and maintain employment after high school. Additionally, participation in adult services like vocational rehabilitation or post secondary education or training can lead to better job opportunities. Research studying patterns of career development for successfully employed adults with disabilities may be able inform clinical practices through the identification of common themes that influence employment in living wage occupations.

Purpose: 

This study examined the process of career development for young adults with disabilities.

Setting: 

The study took place in multiple interview settings.

Sample: 

Young adults with disabilities (5 with learning disability, 2 with orthopedic impairment, and 1 with emotional disability) were recruited from a statewide network of special education and transition specialist. Criteria for selection included: had a documented disability and received special education, participated in school to work transition program at least one year, and exited school between the years 1996 and 2001. The chosen group included 4 women and four men with disabilities who were between 25 to 29 years old. All participants were caucasian and half resided in rural areas. Seven had graduated with a standard high school diploma and one had dropped out during the last year of school. All were employed full time at the time of their postschool interview and reported earning more than $20,000 per year. This was above the federal poverty line of $9,800 per year and exceeded the living wage of $17,035 per year. Key informants were also selected to provide information on family, high school, post school experiences and opportunities. This included: one or both parents, a high school teacher or transition specialist, a rehabilitation counselor, and current employer.

Data Collection: 

Researchers identified a set of topics to address through a review of the relevant literature. This included:

(a) individual characteristics and personal attributes,

(b) family support and expectations,

(c) high school and postschool school services and supports,

(d) workplace experiences, and

(e) other postschool training or education.

Data was collected over four years. Initial post-school interviews took place when participants were between 3 and 6 years out of high school. The second phase of data collection occurred up to 4 years following the initial interview when participants were between 7 and 10 years out of school. In total there were 66 interviews. this included interviews with 24 young adults, 18 with family 11 with employers, 8 with school personnel and 5 with rehabilitation counselors. In addition a family background questionnaire, job history form were completed for each participant along with a file review of special education and vocational rehabilitation records.

Field notes were kept on all contacts with participants and key informants. Onsite observations, field notes and file reviews were recorded on structured forms. Case study data for each participant was completed following standard qualitative analysis procedures. Cross case data summaries and explanatory tables were used to determine which characteristics influenced outcomes similarly or uniquely across cases.

Intervention: 

The study included multiple school-based and transition-focused interventions.

Control: 

The study did not include a control or comparison condition.

Findings: 

A common set of themes seemed to impact employment in living wage occupations. These included: the importance of ongoing education and/or training, steady work experiences, and personal attributes. More specifically the study found that the interrelated elements of family expectations, work experience during high school, and transition services and supports led these individuals to an initial postschool placement in either employment or postsecondary training. During the ensuing span of years, participants advanced in their careers based on a combination of factors that included: (a) enrollment in higher education or job training programs, (b) patterns of workforce participation, and (c) a set of personal attributes such as self-efficacy, persistence, and coping skills. These factors were present across all participants, yet varied by sex.

Conclusions: 

The findings confirm and extend previous research documenting the critical contribution of work experience for youth with disabilities. Young adults with disabilities need transition services to secure financial stability. Initial transition services and ongoing opportunities for further education and training are needed to work in jobs that pay a living wage. Transition education needs to focus on individual knowledge and skills like self determination, self advocacy and communication. Additional studies are needed to understand and highlight the variables that influence gaining occupations with livable wages that promote financial self sufficiency. More research is needed on the role of transition supports, post secondary education or training, family factors and personal attributes.

URL: 
http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ931146
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Telework and employees with disabilities: Accommodations and funding options.

Authors: 
Westerlund, D., Granucci, E. A., Gamache, P., & Clark, H. B.
Year Published: 
2005
Publication: 
Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Volume: 
23
Number: 
2
Pages: 
115-122
Publisher: 
IOS Press
Background: 

Telework or telecommuting are alternative work arrangements that employers are using to meet the changing needs in of the workforce. Some typical telecommuting occupations include: sales representatives, claims adjusters, computer programmers, and customer service representatives.Telecommuting allows organizations to be better meet business needs including more flexibility in meeting the changing expectations of employees. It also increases the labor pool by allowing companies to pursue the non-traditional employee, such as disabled people, retired individuals, older workers, and part-time employees and does not restrict employers or employees to geographical locations. Research is needed about how telework can serve as an accommodation for employees with disabilities.

Purpose: 

The paper reviewed the literature on telework as an accommodation for individuals with disabilities.This included an examination of the barriers to telework and funding options. Two case studies were presented to illustrate how telework could be used as an accommodation to facilitate return to work of three individuals.

Setting: 

The interventions (telework) took place in the employees homes.

Sample: 

A total of 40 students participated in the study. Sixteen students were assigned to the control group and 24 were in the treatment group. The two groups were equivalent on a number of demographic variables including gender, race, medical diagnosis, and Individualized Education Plan category. There was a significant difference between the ages of the treatment and control groups. The age range for both was between 18 and 21.5 years old.

Data Collection: 

Case study information came from a key informant. Participants were referred to this organization by the state vocational rehabilitation agency for telework skills training and job placement.

Intervention: 

The intervention examined in this study was telework. In this paper the term telework was as working at home during business hours one or more days a week, using a combination of computing and communications technology to stay productive and connected to the office and client.

Control: 

Case study information came from a key informant. Participants were referred to this organization by the state vocational rehabilitation agency for telework skills training and job placement.

Findings: 

The woman in the first case study received training on teleworking and computer skills. Afterwards she went to work for a non profit at 20 hours a week. Initially, she typed and edited reports. Eventually she received more hours to manage a database and mailings. She has worked for 14 years.In the second case study a husband and wife teleworker. The husband was was hired by a non profit to work 20 hours a week as a customer service representative to handle calls during traditional business hours. Nine months later his wife was employed by the same organization doing the same type of work.The jobs also the team to maintain health and manage fatigue.

Conclusions: 

Telework provides another work option for individuals with disabilities. However, it is not a panacea. More research is needed on how to increase this work option for individuals with disabilities whose interest, life situation and work personality match this work arrangement.

URL: 
http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-vocational-rehabilitation/jvr00301
Disabilities: 
Populations: 
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes for people with disabilities: A United States study

Authors: 
Employment outcomes of transition-aged adults with autism spectrum disorder: A state of the states report
Year Published: 
2008
Publication: 
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume: 
18
Number: 
4
Pages: 
326-334
Publisher: 
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Background: 

Work is fundamental to the physical and psychological well-being of all people. The United States state-federal vocational rehabilitation programs spend more than $2.5 billion annually. Understanding the factors and service patterns that contribute to successful employment outcomes will help enhance services.

Purpose: 

The purpose of the study is to identify key factors associated with successful employment outcomes for people with sensory/communicative, physical, and mental impairments in the United States.

Setting: 

This study included individuals with disabilities served by multiple vocational rehabilitation agencies in various settings.

Sample: 

Data for this study were extracted from the fiscal year 2005 RSA-911 Case Service Report. The sample includes 5,000 clients from each disability group (sensory/communicative, physical, and mental impairments) whose cases were closed as either rehabilitated or not rehabilitated.

Data Collection: 

Data extracted from the RSA-911 data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association among demographic characteristics, provision of cash or medical benefits, VR service patterns, and employment outcomes. (p. 328)

Intervention: 

Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of impairments, vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance, college or university training, occupational/vocational training, on-the-job training, basic academic remedial or literacy training, job readiness training, job search assistance, job placement assistance, on-the-job supports, transportation, maintenance, rehabilitation technology, reader services, interpreter services, personal attendant services, information and referral, and other services.

Control: 

Comparison of cases that were closed rehabilitated to those that were closed not rehabilitated.

Findings: 

Individuals with sensory/communicative impairments had the highest employment rate (75%) compared to 56% for the physical impairments group and 55% for those with mental impairments. Job placement, on-the-job support, maintenance, and other services were identified as significant predictors of employment success.

Conclusions: 

This study provides some empirical support documenting the association between vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes of people with disabilities. (p. 326)

URL: 
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23449787_Vocational_Rehabilitation_Services_and_Employment_Outcomes_for_People_with_Disabilities_A_United_States_Study
Populations: 
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Preliminary assessment of a prototype advanced mobility device in the work environment of veterans with spinal cord injury

Authors: 
Coviello, D. M., Zanis, D. A., & Lynch, K.
Year Published: 
2004
Publication: 
NeuroRehabilitation
Volume: 
19
Number: 
2
Pages: 
161-170
Publisher: 
IOS Press
Background: 

Many environments are not accessible to individuals that use wheelchairs for ambulation.

Purpose: 

The purpose of this study was to collect data on the potential for the Independence 3000 IBOT Transporter to improve employment satisfaction of veterans who use wheelchairs to work.

Setting: 

Various offices made up the setting.

Sample: 

Subjects were recruited from the Washington Office of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Four male veterans with traumatic spinal cord injury were selected to participate in the study.

Data Collection: 

Observations were made by trained clinicians and participants responded to a survey.

Intervention: 

The intervention was the use of the IBOT in the work setting to hold eye-level discussions with colleagues, climb stairs, ascend steep ramps, and negotiate curbs.

Control: 

There was no control or comparison condition.

Findings: 

Half of the users felt that the IBOT would help them at work and all users felt it should be made available to veterans who use wheelchairs.

Conclusions: 

A larger study should be conducted to determine if the IBOT affects work performance and the ability to return to work.

URL: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15201475
Disabilities: 
Populations: 
Outcomes: 
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Predicting employment outcomes of rehabilitation clients with orthopedic disabilities

Authors: 
Chapin, M. H. & Kewman, D. G.
Year Published: 
2006
Publication: 
Disability and Rehabilitation
Volume: 
28
Number: 
5
Pages: 
257-270
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis
Background: 

Work is fundamental to persons with disabilities having some sort of independence and quality of life. Vocational rehabilitation services measure their effectiveness largely on employment outcomes of their clients. Employment outcomes of clients and thus what services should be offered to them can be predicted to some degree using data mining techniques such as the chi-squared automatic interaction detector (CHAID). Using CHAID to study data sets can yield a wealth of information about that data set.

Purpose: 

The purpose of this study was to use CHAID to mine the Rehabilitation Service Administration (RSA)-911 data set to determine what influences employment rates of rehabilitation clients with orthopedic disabilities.

Setting: 

This study included individuals with orthopedic disabilities served by multiple vocational rehabilitation agencies in various settings.

Sample: 

The study participants (N=74,861) had their data mined from the RSA-911 database. All of the cases were closed by public rehabilitation agencies in fiscal year 2001. The sample was 55% male. European Americans numbered 73.2% of the sample. The mean age of the participants was 41.4 years. Forty-three percent of the sample completed high school and 28% had some college education. Eighty-eight percent had a severe disability.

Data Collection: 

Variables that predicted employment outcomes were grouped into personal variables: gender, race, disability severity, age, education, and government benefits and rehabilitation variables. Rehabilitation variables consisted of: receiving an initial assessment, medical restoration, post-secondary education, business and vocational training, adjustment training, on the job training, miscellaneous training, substantial counseling and guidance, job finding services, job placement, transportation, maintenance, personal assistive services, rehab engineering, assistive technology, and other. Data was analyzed using CHAID.

Control: 

The employment outcome was the comparison condition.

Findings: 

Job placement services significantly enhanced employment outcomes but were very much underutilized (only 25% of the study sample used them). Clients that had work disincentives such as social security disability insurance had lower employment rates than clients without such disincentives.

Conclusions: 

The CHAID analysis proved to be an effective approach for examining the data set and interpreting relationships between variables. Vocational rehabilitation counselors should be aware of the predictors to employment that this study suggests.

URL: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16492620
Disabilities: 
Populations: 
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Can SSDI and SSI beneficiaries with mental illness benefit from evidence-based supported employment?

Authors: 
Becker, D. R., Smith, J., Tanzman, B., Drake, R. E., & Tremblay, T.
Year Published: 
2007
Publication: 
Psychiatric Services
Volume: 
58
Number: 
11
Pages: 
1412-1420
Publisher: 
American Psychiatric Association
Background: 

Individuals with psychiatric disabilities are the fastest-growing subgroup of Social Security Administration disability beneficiaries and have negligible rates of return to competitive employment. Policy makers at the Social Security Administration (SSA) have become increasingly concerned by the rising number of beneficiaries with psychiatric disabilities of working age (18-64 year-olds) in its two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Purpose: 

The purpose of this study was to examine whether SSDI and SSI beneficiaries with mental illness respond favorably to evidence-based supported employment to the same extent as individuals who do not have SSA benefits.

Setting: 

Data was collected from four randomized controlled trials of evidence based supported employment programs located in New Hampshire, Washington DC, Connecticut and Illinois.

Sample: 

The investigators compared 546 Social Security Administration disability beneficiaries who experience severe mental illness with 131 non-beneficiaries who also experience severe mental illness.

Data Collection: 

Data from four independent randomized controlled trials were examined and merged to determine the magnitude of effects of individual placement and support on three employment outcomes (obtaining a job, job tenure, and amount of work).

Intervention: 

The intervention was the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment.

Control: 

The study compared employment outcomes for social security beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.

Findings: 

Beneficiaries receiving supported employment had better employment outcomes than those receiving other vocational services. Similar results were found for non-beneficiaries. Overall, non-beneficiaries had better employment outcomes than beneficiaries.

Conclusions: 

Evidence-based supported employment could enable many Social Security Administration beneficiaries with psychiatric disabilities to attain competitive employment even though receipt of disability benefits operates as a barrier to employment.

URL: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17978250
Disabilities: 
Populations: 
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes

Predicting client employment outcomes from personal history, functional limitations, and rehabilitation services

Authors: 
Bond, G. R. & Drake, R.
Year Published: 
2000
Publication: 
Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Volume: 
44
Number: 
1
Pages: 
10-21
Publisher: 
Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Background: 

Since the 1950‚ rehabilitation research has been try to find out which variables influence or predict successful employment outcomes for rehabilitation clients. The rationale behind such an investigation is that if we understand the determinants of successful outcomes, we can intervene to increase the likelihood of success for vocational rehabilitation (VR) clients. Consequently, research on the prediction of rehabilitation outcomes has been extensive, including examinations of numerous demographic, psychological, social, and service variables for a wide variety of client populations. The VR process consists of three service phases: (a) referral, (b) diagnostic evaluation and rehabilitation planning, and (c) service provision, all of which lead to some type of vocational outcome at case closure. Despite the fact that rehabilitation outcomes have been extensively researched, very few studies have attempted to assess the predictability of outcomes from variable sets that reflect the multiple phases of the VR service process while controlling for the effects of disability. Ideally, a comprehensive, quantitative investigation of rehabilitation outcomes should include, at minimum, the following data elements: (a) personal history information collected using the application for services form (referral phase), (b) diagnostic information summarized in a functional limitations profile (evaluation and planning phase), and (c) specific rehabilitation services provided to clients as stipulated in the rehabilitation plan. Despite efforts not one single investigation of the prediction of vocational outcomes has been reported in the rehabilitation literature that used data from all three phases of the VR process.This study was the first.

Purpose: 

The purpose of the study was to quantify the major phases of the VR service process, using large samples of clients that enabled control for the influence of disability and statistical analysis of all variables simultaneously, thereby quantifying the VR service system. The research questions were: How much variance in employment outcomes can be explained by three sets of predictor variables that represent the three major phases of the VR service process? Which variables made the largest contributions to the explanation of employment outcomes? The study assessed vocational outcome at closure in two ways (a) Competitively employed clients were compared to clients who were not working, and (b) weekly salary was analyzed for the competitively employed clients.

Setting: 

This study included individuals with disabilities served by the state of Arkansas' vocational rehabilitation agency in various settings.

Sample: 

Participants in this study were 25 predominantly Caucasian (n=18, 72%) females (n=19, 76%) between 18 and 64 years of age.

Data Collection: 

Four sets of variables: personal history, functional limitations, rehabilitation services and employment outcomes were measured. The Scale of Social Disadvantage, was developed to predict competitive employment for VR clients from information collected on the application form. The FAI, a behaviorally anchored, counselor rated tool was used to measure a client's functional limitations and key environmental factors that are relevant to VR service planning. Three categories of rehabilitation service variables were used. Two discrete services were job placement and personal adjustment training. Three aggregate service variables were vocational training, restoration, and maintenance. Two global measures of service intensity were time in rehabilitation and total service costs. Various service variables were excluded from the analysis like counseling, diagnosis, support and transportation. Two criteria related to employment success, competitive employment versus not working. Weekly salary for competitive employment were used. Clients closed in other work statuses (i.e.. workshop, student, homemaker etc.) were excluded from the analysis.
Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to assess predictive relationships between the variable representing the 3 phases of VR services and the two employment outcomes. The first set only included the SDD total score. The second set included the SSD score and six FAI factor scales. The third set consisted of the SDD score, the six FAI scales, and the seven rehabilitation service variables. The three sets of variables were used to predict the employment outcomes (competitive employment and weekly wages).

Intervention: 

The intervention was various vocational rehabilitation service types and intensity levels.

Control: 

There was a comparison condition. The study compared outcomes across disability groups.

Findings: 

The combination of personal history items in the Scale of Social Disadvantage predicted competitive employment and salary at closure. Job placement services was by far the greatest contributing factor to achieving competitive employment. The authors expected that Functional Assessment Inventory factors would also predict employment outcomes for VR clients. However, this investigation did not uphold this finding. There was a minimal relationship between functional limitations and employment outcomes.

Conclusions: 

The study supported the following conclusions: 1) competitive employment is more predictable and thus more susceptible to improvement than salary at closure; 2) personal history information constitutes a quantitative basis for calculating an estimate of client case difficulty; 3) job placement services, the most important determiner of competitive employment, should receive greater emphasis in VR counselor education programs; and 4) functional limitations should continue to be evaluated by counselors in conjunction with the VR client diagnostic and service planning phase. The results should be used to improve counselor training and service delivery.

URL: 
http://rcb.sagepub.com/content/44/1/10.full.pdf
NIDILRR Funded: 
Research Design: 
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes