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The impact of the current employment policy environment on the self-determination of individuals with disabilities

by Daniel E. O-Brien, Grant Revell, and Michael West

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Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Volume 19, 2003
Copyright© IOS Press
Reprinted with permission

Abstract. This paper describes two new policy initiatives currently underway - the Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach (BPAO) Projects and the use of Report Cards for community rehabilitation providers and their potential effect on influencing choice and self-determination for populations of individuals with disabilities. We provide quality indicators that suggest promising practices for enhancing consumer self-determination in utilizing Benefits Planning programs and selecting a community rehabilitation service program. Finally, we review examples of how some components of current employment policy initiatives can actually limit consumer choice and self-determination. We conclude by emphasizing the importance in today's employment policy environment for individuals with disabilities to use quality indicators, such as those presented in this paper, in making fully informed choices about work and service providers.

Keywords: Self-determination, disability, vocational rehabilitation, social security work incentives, ticket to work, benefits planning, quality indicators

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