Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Huang, I., Holzbauer, J. J., Lee, E., Chronister, J., Chan, F., & O'neil, J. (2013). Vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes for adults with cerebral palsy in the United States. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 55 (11), 1000-1008.
Title:  Vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes for adults with cerebral palsy in the United States
Authors:  Huang, I., Holzbauer, J. J., Lee, E., Chronister, J., Chan, F., & O'neil, J.
Year:  2013
Journal/Publication:  Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Publisher:  Mac Keith Press
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

Background:  Cerebral Palsy (CP) is known as the most common childhood disability, affecting around 2 out of every 1000 live births. It consists of a group of related, lifelong conditions that affect the way movement and posture develop. Impairments to language and learning, as well as behavioral problems and seizures, can all be caused by CP. People with CP are often discouraged from getting jobs and education due to their disability. Despite this, employed adults with CP will mention their economic independence as a strong factor to their happiness and well-being. In order to assist those with CP in obtaining employment, studies show that better education, vocational training, work disincentives and socialization may influence the employment status of people with CP.
Purpose:  The goal of this study was to look at the link between a person with CP's employment outcomes and the type and amount of vocational rehabilitation service they received, while taking demographics into account.
Setting:  Data was retrieved from the RSA-911 database, which contains information about vocational rehabilitation service clients all over the United States.
Study sample:  The sample consisted of 3162 individuals who had been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and had their cases closed in 2009. Of them, 291 patients had been diagnosed with an intellectual disability, and 109 had epilepsy. Around 54% of them stated they received cash benefits from social security and other government benefits.
Data collection and analysis:  After the data was retrieved from the database, multivariate logistical regression analysis was utilized to point the main determinants of adults with CP being eligible for VR services. The same data was also analyzed to see how demographic variation and reception of VR services affected an individual's chance of gaining employment.
Findings:  It was found that males between the ages of 26 and 54 years old with a history of higher education were more likely to be employed than their peers, and people receiving disability benefits were less likely to have a job. When demographic data was controlled for, it was found that five specific VR services were more likely than others to predict employment outcomes: On-the-job training, job placement assistance, on-the-job support, maintenance services, and rehabilitation.
Conclusions:  Work is important to the way people view themseves in the context of their peers and in society as a whole, and disabilities such as CP will often disrupts working status and performance. As such, VR services should work with medical professionals to better support people with CP and their needs during important transitional periods in their lives. In addition, more research needs to be done on factors that improve the chances of someone with CP gaining employment and getting the most out of vocational rehabilitation services.

Disabilities served:  Cerebral palsy
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition