Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Dutta, A.,Gervey R.,Chan, E.,F.,Chou, C.,& Ditchman,N. (2008). Vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes for people with disabilities: A United States study. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 18 (4), 326-334.
Title:  Vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes for people with disabilities: A United States study
Authors:  Dutta, A.,Gervey R.,Chan, E.,F.,Chou, C.,& Ditchman,N.
Year:  2008
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

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.
Study 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.
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 or comparison condition:  Comparison of cases that were closed rehabilitated to those that were closed not rehabilitated.
Data collection and analysis:  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)
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)

Disabilities served:  Anxiety disorder
Chronic mental illness
Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Mobility impairment
Orthopedic impairments
Speech or language impairment
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Interventions:  Assistive technology
Career counseling
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment
Job coach
Job search and placement assistance
Natural supports
On-the-job training and support
Personal assistance services (PAS)
Rehabilitation counseling
Training and technical assistance
Vocational assessment
Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition