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Use of a School Based Supported Employment Fidelity Scale as a Self-Assessment Tool for Secondary School Personnel

by Elizabeth E. Getzel, Katherine Mullaney Wittig, & Christine Groah Grauer

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Introduction:

Supported employment has become increasingly recognized by professionals, parents, employers and individuals with disabilities as a valuable way to provide essential support for workers with disabilities who have never worked before or who have been viewed as not having the potential to succeed (Carter, Austin, & Trainor, 2012; Schall, Wehman, & McDonough, 2012; Wehman & Brooke, 2013). There has been an increase in supported employment in secondary schools as transition led efforts (Wehman, 2006) are calling for employment before exiting school (Certo, et al., 2008). This movement to a ‘seamless transition” from school to adulthood requires supported employment for many of those students with more significant disabilities.

Yet, limited research exists on supported employment programs that are school based despite the effectiveness of the approach and the clear need for a meshing of transition and employment supports together for youth (Hughes & Carter, 2000). To fully understand the degree of success of these programs, it is important to focus on more complex questions such as “What are the key components of school-based supported employment programs and how are these components actually implemented?” or “What is the relationship between the implementation of specific key program components to the ultimate employment outcomes generated by supported employment?” This brief presents recent research designed to answer these questions and discusses implications for practice.

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