Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Employment Outcome Predictors for People with Disabilities in Taiwan-A Preliminary Study Using ICF Conceptual Frameworks

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Employment Outcome Predictors for People with Disabilities in Taiwan-A Preliminary Study Using ICF Conceptual Frameworks

Article excerpt

Employment is very important and meaningful to people with disabilities (Lemaire & Mallik, 2008; Wang, 2010). If people with disabilities can be employed, they may not only earn reasonable salaries and fringe benefits, but also participate in social activities and become more independent (Wang, 2007; Wang, Lin & Shu, 2012; Wehman & Revell, 1996; Wehman et al., 1998). Past studies in the United States (U.S.) and Taiwan found that factors associated with employment outcome measures for people with disabilities can be assigned to four categories; personal, body function, activity-participation and environmental. Personal factors include: age, gender, and marital status (Lin & Hsu, 1996; Okoro, Strine & McGuire, 2007; Wang, 2006, 2010; Wang & Wang, 2008; Wu, 2007). Body function factors include category of the disability and level of the disability (Lin & Hsu, 1996; Wang, 2010; Wu, 2007). Activities and participation factors include working attitude, working skills, social skills, educational level/attainment, self-care and looking after personal health, and difficulties/limitation on transportation (Chao, 1992; Ho et a1.,1994; Hsu et al., 2008; Lan, Chen & Wu, 2008; Lemaire & Mallik, 2008; Lin, 2000; Lin, 2005; Lin & Hsu, 1996; Wu, 2007). Environmental factors include living arrangement (Wang & Wang, 2008), need and provision of job redesigning/accommodation and auxiliary equipments (Hsu et al., 2008; Lan, Chen & Wu, 2008), support and cooperation of the family (Chen, 2002), employer's willingness/attitude to provide working opportunities to people with disabilities (Chao, 1992; Shien, 1998; Nietupski et al., 1996; Rogan et al., 1993), support and resources of the agencies /job coaches delegated to provide employment services (Chen, 2002; Gwan, 2000; Lin, 2000; Lin, 2005; Wang, 2006, 2010), and implementation and spread of employment-related policies and legislation by government (Lin, 2005).

In Taiwan, the Physically and Mentally Disabled Citizens' Rights Protection Act (PMDCRPA), as amended in 2007, stipulates that the identification criteria and needs assessment for people with disabilities, which is used to decide the items of welfare provisions for each individual, will be constructed by the framework of International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) beginning in July 2012. Based on the draft of "Measures of Welfare and Service Need Assessment and Identification Issue for People with Disabilities", if a person with disability responds that they are willing to work or change the job when he/she undergoes a needs assessment, he/she will be referred to a vocational rehabilitation (VR) center / employment service station in the city/county in which he/she lives to receive necessary services. As a result, the caseloads of VR case managers, as well as other VR professionals such as job coaches, vocational training professionals, and vocational evaluation professionals, can expect to significantly increase beginning in July 2012 (Wu, 2010). In addition, an understanding of the significant predictors of employment outcomes for people with disabilities under the ICF framework, as gained from the results of this study, can be expected to be helpful for VR professionals.

ICF is a universal conceptual framework and classification system created by the World Health Organization (WHO) which has been used to interface with VR, return-to-work, or work participation (Escorpizo et al., 2011 a,b,c; Homa, 2007; Lagerveld et al., 2010; World Health Organization, 2001; Young, 2010). The ICF contains two parts, 'Functioning and Disability' and 'Contextual' factors. 'Functioning and Disability' factors includes two components: 'Body Functions and Body Structures' and 'Activities and Participation'; 'Contextual' factors likewise contain two components: 'Environmental' and 'Personal' factors (Homa, 2007; World Health Organization, 2001). In Taiwan, some studies have already used ICF framework in the field of VR / employment for people with disabilities (Ann & Chen, 2011; Lien et al. …

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