Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Determining Vocational Levels of People with Disabilities in Japan: A Statistical Prediction Approach

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Determining Vocational Levels of People with Disabilities in Japan: A Statistical Prediction Approach

Article excerpt

Determining Vocational Levels of People with Disabilities in Japan:

A Statistical Prediction Approach

The purpose of this paper was to determine the appropriateness of statistical techniques in predicting vocational placement levels of people with physical disabilities in Japan. Two hundred and fifty-three rehabilitation clients were administered the Japanese version of the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). The data were analyzed by multiple discriminant analysis using GATB and WAIS scores as predictors and actual vocational placement levels as criterion. Using the discriminant function derived, 79.5% of the clients in the validation sample were accurately classified, representing a significant improvement over the base rate prediction of 62.2%. It can be concluded that prediction formulas are moderately successful in predicting work performance levels of people with disabilities. Also, a substantive interpretation of the discriminant function suggested the existence of different vocational ability requirements for different vocational placement levels. Implications for vocational evaluation were discussed.

Vocational evaluation is an integral part of the vocational rehabilitation process. Pruitt (1986) defined vocational evaluation as:

"A comprehensive and systematic process that utilizes work (real or simulated) to assess the vocational potential of people with disabilities. The process also incorporates other data such as test scores, medical data, information on education and work experience and the needs and interests of the disabled persons in setting vocational goals and service requirements" (p. 311).

Essentially, information obtained from vocational evaluation is used to assist clients with disabilities in identifying their functional competencies and limitations, formulating realistic vocational goals, and determining rehabilitation programming needs (Power, 1984).

In countries such as the United States, technologies for the practices of vocational evaluation are fairly well developed. According to Nadolsky (1971), these technologies can be classified in terms of evaluation and observation technologies, and interpretation technologies. Vocational evaluation approaches (e.g., psychometric assessment, job analysis, work samples, and situation assessment) developed specifically to facilitate the gathering of vocational potential information of people with disabilities could generally be classified as evaluation and observation technologies. On the other hand, vocational evaluation tools--such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) (U.S. Department of Labor, 1982), the Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (SCODOT) (U.S. Department of Labor, 1981) and DOT related publications, computerized job-matching programs, and statistical prediction formulas, etc.--developed to facilitate the synthesis of assessment data, are considered interpretation technologies (Hattori, 1982).

The DOT and the SCODOT, which contains detailed job analysis and worker traits information of 12,000 jobs in the United States, provides vocational evaluators perhaps the most efficient means to organize and synthesize the voluminous evaluation data gathered during evaluation. For example, a residual employability profile can be developed from assessment data to delineate the work capacity of a client with disability, in terms of the exact job attributes (physical capacities, vocational aptitudes, educational requirements, interests, etc.) defined by the DOT. The resulting profile can then be compared systematically to jobs listed in the entire DOT to identify appropriate job placement alternatives for persons with disabilities (Sink & Field, 1981).

Although the DOT approach is very efficient, the accuracy of vocational evaluation recommendations made on the basis of job analysis and worker-trait requirements information provided by the DOT is increasingly being challenged. …

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