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An e-bulletin from the Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 13   |   March 2020


KTER Center Offers Business Outreach Training to National Employment Team (NET) Members

Photo of a powerpoint slide labeled Business Outreach Training - Module 1: Recognizing the Importance of Building Business Relationships

The Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (KTER) Center highly values its partnership with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR). Working with CSAVR’s Kathy West-Evans, and in collaboration with Linda Hedenblad of the VR Development Group, the KTER Center has developed four 15-minute modules designed expressly for members of CSAVR’s National Employment Team (NET). These are online and designed for NET members to be able to do from anywhere at any time.

The modules cover topics such as maintaining business relationships, effective outreach and communication strategies, and best practices for working with businesses. The training content draws on findings from the KTER Center’s scoping review on studies of vocational rehabilitation agencies’ outreach to businesses. The training combines this research with the practitioner lens that West-Evans brings, coupled with Hedenblad’s expert facilitation. West-Evans leads the NET, and Hedenblad’s firm VR Development Group specializes in training and consulting for VR counselors.

Are you a NET member? Interested? Please click on the URL below for additional information and to complete a brief enrollment form. As a token of our appreciation, we are offering a $20 Amazon gift card for completing the enrollment form.

Click here for additional information about the study or to enroll:

Employment Research Outreach Team Meeting:
April 16, 2020

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Grantees funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and their staff are invited to attend KTER’s next Employment Research Outreach Team Meeting. Members dedicate time in team meetings to combine outreach efforts for their NIDILRR-funded disability employment projects’ upcoming events and resource dissemination. Project directors, training leads, and communications staff of NIDILRR-funded employment projects are encouraged to attend. Please contact Ann Outlaw to receive the invitation and login details.

Date: April 16, 2020
Time: 12–1 p.m. Eastern Time

Special Issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Administration Edited by NIDILRR Grantees

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Staff with the NIDILRR-funded VR-ROI Project: Estimating Return on Investment (ROI) in State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Programs co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Administration titled “Special Issue: Return on Investment for State Vocational Rehabilitation Programs.” Edited by Robert Schmidt, Kirsten Rowe, and Kevin Hollenbeck, the issue includes eight articles:

  1. What Is ROI? by Kevin Hollenbeck provides an overview of the basic principles of ROI and discusses how the ROIs for VR differ depending on the perspective: the VR agency, the individuals served, or society.
  2. Social Return on Investment: An Important Consideration for State Vocational Programs by Betsy Hopkins discusses social return on investment (SROI) concepts and gives examples of the benefits of specific SROI methods in assessing employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
  3. The Return on Investment of Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Some Ethical Considerations by Robert Froehlich, Olivia Bentley, Diona Emmanuel, and Maureen McGuire-Kuletz reviews ethical considerations to guide the analysis, interpretation, and use of ROI estimates.
  4. Conceptual Issues in Developing Return on Investment Estimates of Vocational Rehabilitation Programs by Christopher Clapp, John Pepper, Robert Schmidt, and Steven Stern provides an overview of the basic conceptual issues involved in estimating ROI for state VR programs and discusses different ways of implementing ROI calculations.
  5. Data Issues in Developing Valid ROI Estimates by Steven Stern, Christopher Clapp, John Pepper, and Robert Schmidt discusses issues associated with using readily available administrative data in estimating ROI for VR services, including longitudinal data labor market outcomes data, other types of outcomes data, and longitudinal data on services.
  6. An Overview of the VR-ROI Project and Its Approach to Estimating ROI by Kirsten Rowe, Joseph Ashley, John Pepper, Robert Schmidt, and Steven Stern provides an overview of the VR-ROI Project and describes seven key features of the model used by the project, developing and testing a model to estimate long-term VR impacts and cost-effectiveness.
  7. Applications of the VR-ROI Project: ROI Estimates for Virginia and Maryland by Robert Schmidt, Christopher Clapp, John Pepper, and Steven Stern briefly describes and then uses the VR-ROI Project’s model to estimate ROI for Virginia’s Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and Maryland’s Division of Rehabilitation Services.
  8. Extending the VR-ROI Approach to Measure the Return on Virginia’s Investment in the Public Workforce System by Jeffrey Brown and Joseph Ashley discusses recent efforts to evaluate the ROI for state workforce development systems as well as challenges in attempting to meet the common expectation of a measurable return on public investments in the workforce system for both participants and taxpayers.

VR-ROI Project researchers have also written an article that was recently published in a special issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (Volume 114, Issue 1, 2020) on employment and visual impairment. Co-authors Christopher Clapp, John Pepper, Robert Schmidt, and Steven Stern described the characteristics of, services received by, and labor market outcomes of applicants with visual impairments to three state VR programs. The objective of their study was to both document cross-state variation in VR clientele and services and provide new insights on the longitudinal labor market outcomes of clients with visual impairments. This analysis is a first step in assessing the returns to VR service investments for this population.

KTER Conference Connections

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As part of its Conference Connections activity, the KTER Center seeks to promote networking among NIDILRR’s employment portfolio grantees at the conferences they attend. Following are upcoming and recent conferences that may be of interest to our KTER Today readers. We have also listed our archived conferences, some of which offer CRC credit, since that may be of interest to our readers who have had other opportunities cancelled or postponed.

Note: the listing below is accurate as of March 17, 2020; please check conference websites for the most up-to-date information.

Assistive Technology Conference
Date: March 9–13, 2020
Location: Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California

  • New Workplace Accommodation Decision Tools
    Presented by Karen Milchus

2020 National APSE Conference
Date: Pre-conference June 15, 2020. Conference June 16–18, 2020
Location: Hyatt Regency, Denver, Colorado
Note: please check the conference website for the most up-to-date information.

  • Colorado SEEKS Grant—An Integrated Approach to Benefits Acquisition and Employment
    Presented by Peter Pike, Charlene Parris, and Sarah Hansen

KTER Center’s State of the Science Archives

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The KTER Center’s State of the Science (SoS) Archives are now available, with captioned audio/video files of presentations, transcripts, and 508-compliant presentation files.

Visit the KTER Center website to view the archive files:

Prefer a summary of findings? The 2019 SoS Proceedings document is also available to download.

The SoS shared the latest findings from the KTER Center’s own studies, Dr. Maureen Dobbins presented a keynote on knowledge brokering, the Center on KTDRR offered a workshop on “Using Knowledge Translation Models in Disability Employment Research,” and other NIDILRR grantees shared their cutting-edge research on knowledge translation and employment outcomes.

The KTER Center held its SoS conference on knowledge translation for employment research in Portland, Maine, on September 4–6, 2019. With a focus on vocational rehabilitation (VR) contexts, the SoS was embedded as a special track within the 12th Annual Summit on Performance Management Excellence.

2019 KT Conference Archive Now Available

A word cloud shows the following words: barriers, content, conferences, engagement, sessions, presenters, speakers, work, day, format, days, time, conference, KT, 3rd, chat, helpful, great, enjoyed, pleased, online, presentation, attending, attend, allowed

Check out the word cloud from actual evaluations from the 2019 annual KT conference, which featured the theme “Innovative KT Strategies That Work”:

Missed the 2019 annual KT conference? Archived presentations from the 2019 Online KT Conference are now available:
Archived resources include captioned YouTube videos, edited transcripts, and downloadable copies of presentation files.

Save the dates for next year’s conference: Oct. 26, 28, and 30, 2020.
Our preliminary theme: “Social Media Strategies for Knowledge Translation.”

The KTER Center at AIR logo

The contents of this newsletter were developed under grant number 90DP0077 from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this newsletter do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.