Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Lukyanova, V., Suarez-Balcazar, Y., Balcazar, F., & Oberoi, A. (2015). A case file review of employment outcomes from Community Rehabilitation Providers. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 43 (1), 33-40.
Title:  A case file review of employment outcomes from Community Rehabilitation Providers
Authors:  Lukyanova, V., Suarez-Balcazar, Y., Balcazar, F., & Oberoi, A.
Year:  2015
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  Individuals with disabilities face many barriers to employment. This includes: lack of qualifications, training and experience, severity of disability, negative employer attitudes, inadequate accommodations in the workplace, potential loss of financial or medical benefits, and limited opportunities in "entry level" jobs. To help overcome these barriers some individuals turn to state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. Vocational rehabilitation agencies provide an array of services like: evaluations, vocational guidance and counseling, vocational training, job placement, and more. They also outsource services to community rehabilitation providers (CRP). Community rehabilitation providers offer a variety of employment and support services. There is not alot of research available about employment outcomes for individuals who use CRP services.
Purpose:  The aim of this study was to examine facilitators and barriers to employment among individuals with disabilities who were served by CRPs and investigate strategies to improve outcomes.
Study sample:  The study sample was drawn from a VR agency in an urban Midwestern city. Thirty eight client cases were randomly selected from 818 successful CRP closures. The majority or 58% were males and 42% were female. Most were white (71%). The most common disabilities were cognitive intellectual disability (26%), mental illness (26%) and hearing impairment (16%). Among these about one fourth or 24% had multiple disabilities. The majority or 77% had a high school education and only 3% had a college degree or some higher education. The majority of individuals served by CRPs in rural areas. On average it took 516 days for a person to gain employment.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control of comparison condition.
Data collection and analysis:  State VR and the research team established a case review process. Two researchers independently coded and compared information. They also took notes to track employment related services. Actions taken to assist the person with achieving their individualized plan for employment and barriers or challenges faced were also recorded. A analysis of the qualitative comments took place to look for emerging themes. Employment outcomes and wages were coded and analyzed. Steps were taken to ensure reliability of data entry. Using Excel the researchers performed exploratory data analysis and descriptive statistics about employment outcomes.
Findings:  Individuals who had difficulty gaining and maintaining employment had health related problems, lack of reliable transportation, and family issues. Those who went to work had prior work experience, interview skills and lived with their families. The VR counselor also served as an advocate and understood the challenges associated with the labor market. Among those who worked, most chose to work part time due to fears associated with losing financial or medical benefits. In addition, those who gained employment received a variety of service including: vocational counseling, career development services, job coaching, and other supports.
Conclusions:  There is a greater need for services such as: career development, job coaching, and training. Family counseling may be helpful too. Providing funding for ongoing support may help reduce recidivism and promote ongoing long term employment. Finding strategies to prevent job loss should be as important as securing work, more research is needed.

Disabilities served:  Chronic mental illness
Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Developmental disabilities
Hearing impairment
Severe physical disability
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: American Indian or Alaska Native
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
Rural and remote communities
Interventions:  Career counseling
Job coach
On-the-job training and support
Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Full-time employment
Part-time employment