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.
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 injury.
This study included individuals with SCI served by multiple vocational rehabilitation agencies in various settings.
Data for this study came from the Rehabilitation Services Administration Case Service report (RSA-911) database. There were 4,392 spinal cord cases closed either rehabilitated or not in 2005. Among these 3,119 were European American and 395 Hispanics. There were significant differences in age, education, per-service employment status, employment status, significant disabilities and work disincentives between the two groups.
Logistical regression analysis were conducted.
The intervention uses various types of vocational rehabilitation services. These included: 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, disability related, augmentative skills training, miscellaneous training, job search assistance, job placement assistance, on the job supports, transportation services, maintenance services, rehabilitation technology, technical assistance services, information and referral services and other services.
There was no control or comparison condition.
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.
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.