Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Pack, T.G., & Szirony, G.M. (2009). Predictors of competitive employment among persons with physical and sensory disabilities: An evidence-based model. Work, 33 67-79.
Title:  Predictors of competitive employment among persons with physical and sensory disabilities: An evidence-based model
Authors:  Pack, T.G., & Szirony, G.M.
Year:  2009
Journal/Publication:  Work
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

Background:  Individuals with physical and sensory disabilities face challenges with gaining and maintaining work. There is not much research about their employability or work outcomes for this group.
Purpose:  This study looked at factors related to employment outcomes for individuals with physical and sensory disabilities who were served by the state federal vocational rehabilitation system. The questions included: What are the demographic predictors of competitive employment, and what are the services predictive of competitive employment.
Setting:  The setting for this study was a university. The data was pulled from the Rehabilitation Services Administration RSA 911 Data base. This included information collected from 55 VR offices across the United States and its territories for FY 2004.
Study sample:  A data cleaning process yielded 97,736 records for individuals who had a primary disability as physical or sensory disability. From this group, three sample groups of 5,000 records were pulled. Individuals who were under the age of 18 were removed resulting in 4,995 in each of the 3 datasets.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Data collection and analysis:  A series of logistic regression analyses were used across the three samples.
Findings:  Job placement services lead to employment. Those receiving this service were 380% more likely to go to work, however, only 17% of the individuals in this study received that service. On the job support services enhance employment by 232%, but only 8% of the individuals in the study received this service. Provision of college enhances work outcomes by 215% yet, only 11% of people in the study went to college. Those who receive maintenance payments were 186% more like to go to work. Those who receive vocational training were 186% more likely to work too. People who received rehabilitation technology services were 182% more likely to attain employment. Those who received job search assistance were 177% more likely to work. Receipt of VR counseling services led to individuals being 155% more likely to become employed. Those with more severe disabilities were 151% more likely to work. People who received treatment for the disabling condition were 143% more likely to work, and those who were employed at the time of application for VR services were 390% more likely to work. A final variable that was a predictor of work was the amount of public support received at application. Using a odds ratio, the researchers found that a person receiving 1 dollar of public support at application is equally likely to attain employment as compared to a person not receiving that dollar of public support at application.
Conclusions:  Using an evidence based service model, such as the one presented in this paper, to address the predictors of competitive employment should help improve outcomes for individuals with sensory and physical disabilities.

Disabilities served:  Arthritis
Cerebral palsy
Hearing impairment
Mobility impairment
Muscular dystrophy
Orthopedic impairments
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Visual impairment
Severe physical disability
Outcomes:  Other