Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Predicting the Likelihood of Job Placement: A Short-Term Perspective

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Predicting the Likelihood of Job Placement: A Short-Term Perspective

Article excerpt

During the past decade, numerous books and articles have documented the proliferation and success of supported employment programs for individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. These studies have reported data concerning the type of training models used, demographic and functional characteristics of the individuals who have participated, the types of employment positions they have obtained and the range of benefits and wages they have earned (Ellis, Rusch, Jho-Ju, & McCaughrin, 1990). In general, these studies can be characterized by their synchronic analyses of large data sets. In contrast, microanalyses emphasize specific issues about specific populations over an extended period, and provide a more detailed understanding of an individual's needs (DeStefano, 1990; Shafer, Banks, & Kregel, 1991).

In recent years supported employment programs have begun to serve individuals with learning disabilities (Levy, et al., 1993; Gaylord-Ross, et al., 1988), and psychiatric disabilities (West, Revell, & Wehman, 1992; Trotter, Minkoff, Harrison, & Hoops, 1988; Danley & Anthony, 1987). As the number of programs for individuals with various disabilities continues to grow, a shift from standardized programming to more inclusive and individualized service provision for diverse populations is required (Leung, 1993; Usdane, 1993; Danley & Anthony, 1987). This theme has been articulated in a number of recent articles discussing the changing cultural, ethnic and racial demographics in the U.S. and their impact upon rehabilitation professionals and practices (Botuck, et al., 1993; Wilson, O'Reilly & Rusch, 1991).

With the expansion of supported employment to diverse populations, detailed examination of the patterns of training and support for individuals with different disabilities is needed in order to determine the type of training and support needed. In fact, the first six months is a critical period in all employment programs because it is during this time that the type and the amount of training an individual will require for job placement and job maintenance is critical to her continued success. As researchers in an applied setting, our purpose is to provide information which will support practitioners in enabling individuals to actualize their vocational plans as well as to guide administrators in the design and implementation of programs for diverse populations. To do this, examination of the effects of various disability categories together with individual characteristics is required. As programs serve increasingly diverse populations, these considerations become important on the individual and on the programmatic level as administrators design and implement programs for more varied populations.

The purpose of the present study was to examine characteristics which would predict the likelihood of job placement during the first six months of program participation. Age, gender and diagnostic category as well as previous employment, type of financial assistance from government sources and life satisfaction score were examined. These variables were selected from literature examining factors which have been associated with employment outcomes (Sitlington & Frank, 1993a; Fourqurean, Meisgeier, Swank & Williams, 1991; Edgar,1988; Hasazi, Gordon & Roe, 1985, gender; Conley, 1986, employment history; Anthony and Jansen, 1984, financial assistance; Louis Harris & Associates, 1986, life satisfaction).


Program Overview and Location

Participants were involved in an individualized training program targeted to be completed within three months. On a daily basis, individuals participated in vocational skills and employability behavior training. Individualized, vocationally focused counseling was provided on a weekly basis, and regularly scheduled case conferences, to which family members/caregivers were invited, were held. …

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