Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Inge, K.J., Cimera, R.E., Revell, W.G., Wehman, P.H. & Seward, E. H. (2015). Employment outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injuries: 2011-2013. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 42 85-96.
Title:  Employment outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injuries: 2011-2013
Authors:  Inge, K.J., Cimera, R.E., Revell, W.G., Wehman, P.H. & Seward, E. H.
Year:  2015
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

Background:  People with spinal cord injury face multiple challenges and barriers to employment. Vocational rehabilitation services may provide supports to assist individuals with work.
Purpose:  The aim of this study was to report on data from the Rehabilitation Services Administration 911 Closure Reports from 2011 through 2013 for individuals with SCI. Information about individuals who received services from State Vocational Rehabilitation programs, including services received and outcomes achieved should provide insight into the effectiveness of current practices and identify areas for future research.
Setting:  The data was pulled from the Rehabilitation Services Administration's 911 data base. Data is collected from various state vocational rehabilitation offices across the United States.
Study sample:  The study sample included 9,250 people with SCI who had their cases closed in Fiscal Years 2011 through 2013. This figure included a total of 3,217 cases closed in 2011, 3,098 in 2012, and 2,890 in 2013. Notably, there was a 10% reduction in case closures in the last year. Among the closures each year, the number of males versus females served relatively consistent. The average age was 43 years with a range in age from 25 to 64 . The majority or around 75% of those who had their cases closed each year were white/Caucasian.
Data collection and analysis:  Information was analyzed from the Rehabilitation Services Administration's 911 data base. There are 215 items captured, including demographic and case closure data. This information is within the public domain. Data was requested for analysis for individuals with SCI who had their cases closed in one of four case closures from FY 2011 through 2013. Case Closure codes are: Status 08: not eligible for services, Status 28: unsuccessful case closure after implementing an Individualized Plan for Employment, Status 30: unsuccessful, case close after eligibility determination but before implementing an Individualized Plan for Employment and Status 26: Successful rehabilitation. Status 26 means the person became competitively employed (including supported employment), self employed, worked at state agency managed enterprise, became a homemaker or an unpaid family worker.
Findings:  The national success rates were 30.8% to 32.4%. Some states reported a success rate of 50% or more. More males than females separated from VR services during each of the 3 years. The majority of people with SCI closed Status 26 were white/Caucasian. Rates were also slightly higher for individuals with Associates Degree or more. Average cost of participants was $13,411 in 2011;$15,353 in 2012 and $17,228 in FY 2013. The number of cases that were closed successfully, Status 26, during this time decreased as cost went up. The top 3 services leading to a successful employment outcome were: assessment, VR counseling and guidance, and rehabilitation technology. Among those cases that were not successfully closed the top 3 services were assessment, VR counseling and guidance and diagnosis and treatment.
Conclusions:  Future research is needed. Among other things it should focus on what higher achieving states are doing. It should also examine the relationships between services provided to those whose cases were successfully (i.e. AT) and unsuccessfully closed.

Disabilities served:  Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: American Indian or Alaska Native
Race: Asian
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Race: Native Hawaiian / other Pacific Islander
Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
Ethnicity: Not Hispanic or Latino
Interventions:  Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition