Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Yamamoto, S. H. & Alverson, C. Y. (2017). Individuals with disabilities in self-employment through vocational rehabilitation: Predictors of successful case closure from 2008 to 2012. Journal of Career Assessment, 25 (3), 450-466.
Title:  Individuals with disabilities in self-employment through vocational rehabilitation: Predictors of successful case closure from 2008 to 2012
Authors:  Yamamoto, S. H. & Alverson, C. Y.
Year:  2017
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Career Assessment
Publisher:  Sage Publications
Full text: 
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported

Structured abstract:

Purpose:  With the low rate of employment for individuals with disabilities (12.5% unemployment) and the low rate of participation in the labor force at only 19.5%, recent indications are that self-employment can be a viable option. This study examines the relationship between VR services and the rate of self-employment. Research questions included: 1. What were the significant predictors of self-employment case closure for VR clients for FY 2008-2012? 2. Did these predictors differ across the years, and 3. Did these predictors differ across states?
Study sample:  RSA-911 data between 2008 and 2012
Data collection and analysis:  Building on the larger research study (Yamamoto and Alverson, 2013), this study used the same basic research questions and narrowed the focus to focus on VR services and self-employment outcomes. RSA-911 data set was utilized for the years 2008-2012. Initial data screening found missing data points in five fiscal years. The missing data was random and not consistent in the data set.
Findings:  The study revealed that FY 2008 produced the greatest number of case closures (202,297)) including all employment. The smallest number of case closures were in FY 2010 (169,258). Over the time period studied, case closures included 43-45% female, 55-57% male, 23-24% non-white and 76-77% white. Further, Disability status ranged from non-significant disability 6-7% to significant disability 93-94%. Educational attainment included secondary 56-57% to post-secondary 43-44%. For research question 1, the predictors of employment were gender, ethnicity, cost of VR services and educational attainment. Further, in years 2011 and 2012, significant disability status was an important factor as well. For question 2, results were similar to question 1, and disability status was a strong predictor in years 2011 and 2012. Finally, for question 3, predictors were almost identical to the previous results. Finally, problems with the state data were revealed and the data accuracy was uneven across the data set. Since there is no compliance mechanism in place to ensure accurate data from all 50 states, the information is limited in this regard.
Conclusions:  The data revealed that white men with post-secondary education were most likely to find self-employment. Further, those who received VR services were most likely to gain employment in positions other than self-employment. For those who were self-employed at case closure, ethnicity was the strongest predictor of positive outcomes. Specifically, white VR clients were 80% more likely to gain self-employment than non-white clients. Both women and ethnic minority groups were much less likely to gain self-employment. Finally, the cost of VR services did not indicate a higher outcome for self-employment. Simply put, higher cost services did not achieve markedly better outcomes for VR clients.

Disabilities served:  Multiple disabilities
Populations served:  Persons with multiple disabilities (e.g., deaf-blindness, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse)
Interventions:  Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Self-employment
Full-time employment