Research Activities

The KTER Center engaged in three kinds of research activity.

1) The first research activity investigated stakeholders’ pressing needs for research-based information relevant to serving transition-aged youth, adults with autism, and businesses working with VR agencies to support greater employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. We held focus groups with VR counselors, adults with autism, and young adults with disabilities, and plan to survey the VR business consultants.

2) Second, the Center conducted scoping reviews of the research base on employment-related practices in key topic areas: transition-aged youth; adults with autism; and a business-oriented topic that our survey respondents identify as important to them.

3) The third research activity was an intervention study that offered training about research findings our scoping reviews in these areas helped us to identify, to VR staff that supervise other counselors and are intervention participants. We trained these senior VR counselors about how to pass on what they learned to their staff. We then measured if having these agency-embedded 'research liaisons' helped staff to use research in their jobs, and if doing so helped to promote the employment outcomes of the clients they serve.

KTER Research Activities
Research Activity Research Question
Pressing Informational Needs

What are the most pressing informational needs related to three key VR constituencies and the VR staff who work to serve their needs: (Track A) transition-aged youth, (Track B) adults with autism, and (Track C) businesses that work with VR employment units?

As part of this set of activities designed to identify informational needs, KTER conducted focus groups with individuals receiving vocational rehabilitation (VR) services and counselors in State VR agencies. Three Technical Briefs were developed that describe the findings from these focus groups.

Scoping Reviews Which NIDILRR-research findings can be used to meet identified pressing needs related to improving the employment outcomes for (a) transition-aged youth, (b) adults with autism, and (c) businesses working with VR?
Research Liaison (RL) Intervention Will RLs in the role of knowledge brokers who receive training and support in the use of research-based practices increase the uptake of VR counselors and businesses, respectively, to improve consumer labor market outcomes (including employment and retention)?