Article

The personnel factor: Exploring the personal attributes of highly successful employment specialists who work with transition-age youth

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Abstract

Employment specialists play a pivotal role in assisting youth and adults with disabilities find and retain jobs. This requires a unique combination of skills, competencies and personal attributes. While the fields of career counseling, vocational rehabilitation and special education transition have documented the ideal skills sets needed to achieve desired outcomes, the authors characterize these as essential mechanics. What have not been examined are the personal qualities that effective employment specialists possess. Theorizing that these successful professionals exhibit traits and behaviors beyond the mechanics, the authors conducted a qualitative study incorporating in-depth interviews with 17 top-performing staff of a highly successful national program, The Marriott Foundation's Bridges from school to work. Four personal attributes emerged from the interviews: (a) principled optimism; (b) cultural competence; (c) business-oriented professionalism; and (d) networking savvy. In presenting these findings, the authors discuss the implications for recruitment, hiring, training, and advancing truly effective employment specialists, and offer recommendations for further research.

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... Development andTransition for Exceptional IndividualsSimonsen et al. research-article2017 1 The University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA 2 Bowling Green State University, OH, USA 3 University of Oregon, Eugene, USA 2012). This includes, but is not limited to (a) having specialized knowledge of secondary transition evidence-based practices (EBPs) and predictors of post-school success, (b) conducting transition assessment, (c) developing post-school goals aligned with individualized education program (IEP) goals and transition services, (d) facilitating career development and work-based learning opportunities, and (e) providing transition services in collaboration with adult service providers (Mazzotti, Test, & Mustian, 2014;Tilson & Simonsen, 2013). ...
... In most states, any special educator holding a valid special education credential and working in a secondary school can be responsible for providing transition education and services (Morningstar & Clark, 2003). Given the critical role of secondary special educators and direct-service transition professionals in supporting students with disabilities in obtaining positive post-school outcomes (Tilson & Simonsen, 2013), understanding how states are credentialing and preparing these professionals is important for ensuring educators have the necessary skills to support youth with disabilities as they move through the transition process. ...
Article
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To understand the current status of transition-related credentialing systems in driving personnel preparation, it is necessary to identify which state education and rehabilitation services agencies are currently providing certification and licensure in the area of secondary transition. The purpose of this study was to examine the current state of requirements related to secondary transition in states’ personnel credentialing systems. Results provide a snapshot of current state credentialing policies related to secondary transition and a clear view of policy changes that have occurred over the last 14 years. Limitations and implications for future research and practice are discussed.
... This Bridges youth follow-up study was developed based on a review of research discussed earlier (e.g., Tilson & Simonsen, 2013;Simonsen et al., 2011;Domza et al., 2008), as well as input from the Bridges' executive staff. Survey items were developed to measure demographic information of the respondent, information about the company, the employer's perceptions of the hiring process and the role of the employment specialist. ...
... Clearly, establishing a strong relationship with the employment specialist is highly valued by this sample. This finding is consistent with much of the job development literature, which emphasizes the importance of employment specialist characteristics and skills in the job development process (Luecking, 2008;Migliore et al., 2012;Tilson & Simonsen, 2013). Simonsen, Fabian, Buchanan and Luecking (2011) pointed out the similarity between employer perceptions of effective job development strategies identified in these studies and the demand-side job development approach that has emerged in the rehabilitation literature (Chan, Strauser, Gervey & Lee, 2008;Luecking, 2008). ...
Article
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The importance of paid work experience while in high school as a significant predictor of post-school employment for youth with disabilities has been well documented. However, given the importance of available and willing employers to offer these work experiences, surprisingly little is known about how employers who work with these programs perceive the hiring process. For this study, employers who had recently hired a youth with a disability from the national multi-site Marriott Foundation Bridges from School-to-Work program were surveyed to determine: (a) what factors motivated them to hire the youth and (b) how those factors differed by respondent role and company size. Findings suggest that the employers' perceptions of the youth, including their preparedness for the interview, their professionalism, and the ability to perform on the job were the primary motivating factors in their decision to hire. In addition, the importance of the job developer as a facilitator of the job match was valued more highly by small and medium sized employers than by large companies. Employment specialists can use these findings to align their practices with the preferences of employers, ultimately leading to improved employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
... To better understand the Bridges' model, we briefly summarize the description provided by Tilson, Luecking, and Donovan (1994) and Gold, Fabian, and Luecking (2013). (See also Tilson & Simonsen (2013) for a description of the personal attributes of Bridges staff.) According to Tilson, Luecking, and Donovan (1994), "The only criteria for selection into the program are a consistent and demonstrated interest in participating fully and a schedule that can accommodate working." ...
... The success of all of these features is dependent upon the development of a skilled and motivated staff to deliver the services. High-performing Bridges staff have been identified to have: principled optimism; cultural competence; business-oriented professionalism; and networking savvy (Tilson & Simonsen, 2013). Attention to these competencies in the hiring and training of staff may, ultimately, be as important to success as the specific features of the model used. ...
Article
Background: The Bridges from School to Work (Bridges) program provides job placement and supports for youth with disabilities. Operating in nine sites across the country, over 18,000 youth have received job placement services through Bridges. Objective:The paper presents long-term outcomes of youth who participate in the study to determine if previously documented short-term outcomes continue into adulthood. Methods: We examine the earnings of Bridges participants up to age 30. We present longitudinal statistics on the earnings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program participation of youth placed by Bridges into a job. A comparison with similarly aged youths receiving SSI who did not participate in Bridges is also made. Results: At age 30, almost three quarters of youth placed by Bridges have earnings. We also find that SSI participation declines through age 30 and DI participation increases. Among placed youth who received SSI at the time of Bridges enrollment, half have earnings at age 30 and less than half received SSI payments; however, over one quarter receive DI benefits. Conclusions: Bridges participation potentially helps create a higher earnings capacity for participants; however, more research is necessary to establish a causal effect.
... Numerous authors have drawn attention to the importance of field work, mentoring and coaching of professionals (Provenmire-Kirk et al., 2015;Rock et al., 2009;Shriner, Schlee, Hamil, & Libler, 2009). Tilson & Simonsen (2013) identified 4 attributes of highly effective employment specialists working with transition-age youth: principled optimism; cultural competence; business-oriented professionalism; and networking savvy. These are competencies beyond the mere mechanics of our work; they are the underlying human traits that fuel the mechanics. ...
Article
When it comes to discovery-learning all we can about a career seeker's passions, aspirations, talents, and support needs-approaches and instruments abound. While there are many excellent resources available to the field, there is an ongoing challenge: often multiple entities (schools, service providers, and vocational rehabilitation agencies) are supporting the same person and using tools that may be duplicating their efforts to gather useful information, or worse, providing conflicting information. OBJECTIVE:In an era where collaboration and communication across agencies are vital, this article introduces an instrument for consideration. The instrument described is referred to as the Life and Career Assessment Matrix (LCAM), which is an expanded version of the positive personal profile. CONCLUSION: This tool provides a common framework that can be used by self-advocates, their personal supporters, educators, vocational rehabilitation counselors and adult service providers alike to help all partners discuss and develop plans and activities leading to excellent work experiences, paid employment, and community inclusion.
... Walaupun kerajaan Amerika telah mewujudkan akta perundangan The Individual with Disabilities Education Act [30] namun hanya 9.4 % MBK (BP) yang berjaya memilih bidang pendidikan berdasarkan kepada keselarasan personaliti diri dengan persekitaran pembelajaran berbanding 35% daripada remaja yang seusia dengan mereka [20]. Menurut Tilson dan Simonsen [31] perkara ini amat diberi perhatian oleh kerajaan Amerika kerana masalah MBK (BP) untuk memilih bidang pendidikan semasa di sekolah menengah akan menyumbang kepada peningkatan kadar keciciran dan kemiskinan di Amerika. ...
Article
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Pemilihan bidang pendidikan dapat menentukan kejayaan kerjaya seseorang murid. Namun, pemilihan bidang pendidikan Murid Berkeperluan Khas Masalah Pembelajaran- MBK(BP) kurang bersistematik. Oleh itu, kajian ini bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti pemilihan bidang pendidikan bagi MBK (BP) di Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi. Reka bentuk tinjauan ini melibatkan 135 MBK (BP) yang berusia antara 13 hingga 16 tahun. Sebanyak 120 item daripada Instrumen Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK) telah digunakan dan mendapat nilai keseluruhan kebolehpercayan sebanyak 0.773. Data yang diperoleh dianalisis secara analisis deskriptif dan inferensi dengan menggunakan IBM SPSS Versi 22.0. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan majoriti MBK(BP) cenderung untuk memilih bidang Investigatif sebagai bidang pendidikan mereka (Min= 4.59, SP= 0.51). Malah, dapatan juga menunjukkan bahawa tidak terdapat perbezaan antara lelaki dan perempuan MBK (BP) dalam pemilihan bidang Investigatif (t=1.007; p>0.05). Dapatan ini diharapkan dapat membantu MBK (BP), ibu bapa dan guru dalam membuat pemilihan bidang pendidikan yang selaras dengan minat dan keupayaan MBK (BP).
... In a Norwegian-Swedish study, the clients describe as especially useful those encounters in which they feel recognition for some aspects of their life situation that frequently go unrecognised in other arenas (Ylvisaker, 2013). In a study from North America, Tilson and Simonsen (2013) show how successful work-related support for vulnerable young people is characterised by a genuine confidence in these young people's abilities, an awareness of their life context and an ability to communicate with them and their families. A Danish study also describes the social workers' ability to build users' selfefficacy as crucial for their success in returning to work (Danneris & Dall, 2017). ...
Article
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Vulnerable young people not engaged in work, education or training constitute a user group regarded with increasing concern in Europe. Set in a Norwegian context, this article investigates what the users themselves considered to be the most important help towards employment. The article is based on an action research approach and comprises data from a variety of sources, such as research circle method. A key finding is that relationships are the most crucial factor for the users. Long-term contact and persistent and inquisitive helpers are especially important. The meaningful relationship is not limited to the one with the professional helpers; it also includes the relationship between the users. Based on an action-oriented research approach, the article calls for more research that listens to the users’ voices.
... En tett og helhetlig innsats fra aktuelle hjelpetjenester er sentralt når den unges utfordringer er sammensatte (Anvik & Waldahl, 2016;Frøyland, 2017;Mikkelsgård, Granerud & Høye, 2014). Engasjement og en positiv orientering er kvaliteter hos NAV-veiledere og andre sentrale hjelpere som er av betydning (Bragdø & Spjelkavik, 2013;Frøyland, 2017;Mikkelsgård et al., 2014;Tilson & Simonsen, 2013). Relasjonen til hjelperen fremheves dessuten som betydningsfull (Frøyland, 2017;Stenbrenden, Haukland & Knutsen, 2018). ...
Article
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Artikkelen undersøker hva som ligger til grunn for beslutninger som tas underveis i arbeidsavklaringsprosesser, altså prosesser som kan resultere i uføretrygd. Avklaringsprosessene er således en viktig del av arbeidslinja. Problemstillingen er: Hvordan kan tiltak og overganger begrunnes i arbeidsavklaringsprosessen? Problemstillingen er utforsket med utgangspunkt i et praktisk eksempel med en ung kvinne med psykiske lidelser. Datagrunnlaget består av intervjuer, observasjon og dokumenter fra en lengre tidsperiode. Med en institusjonell etnografisk tilnærming viser jeg hvordan begrunnelsene er vanskelige å finne, og at hvilke vurderinger begrunnelsene bygger på, i liten grad synliggjøres skriftlig. Begrunnelsene kan i hovedsak karakteriseres som standardformuleringer, også begrunnelser som tilsynelatende er personlige. Jeg argumenterer for at begrunnelsene har ulike funksjoner: De legitimerer videreføring av tiltak, de oppfyller overordnet styringstekst, og begrunnelsene legitimerer NAV-arbeideres praksis sett opp mot systemforventninger. Det kan dessuten synes som om begrunnelsene bunner i en institusjonell forståelse om at arbeidstrening bidrar til at unge kommer nærmere arbeidslivet. Denne forståelsen kan problematiseres, ettersom arbeidstrening kan synes å videreføres uavhengig av om det bidrar til fremgang eller ikke.
... Walaupun kerajaan Amerika telah mewujudkan akta perundangan The Individual with Disabilities Education Act [30] namun hanya 9.4 % MBK (BP) yang berjaya memilih bidang pendidikan berdasarkan kepada keselarasan personaliti diri dengan persekitaran pembelajaran berbanding 35% daripada remaja yang seusia dengan mereka [20]. Menurut Tilson dan Simonsen [31] perkara ini amat diberi perhatian oleh kerajaan Amerika kerana masalah MBK (BP) untuk memilih bidang pendidikan semasa di sekolah menengah akan menyumbang kepada peningkatan kadar keciciran dan kemiskinan di Amerika. ...
Article
Abstrak-Pemilihan bidang pendidikan dapat menentukan kejayaan kerjaya seseorang murid. Namun, pemilihan bidang pendidikan Murid Berkeperluan Khas Masalah Pembelajaran-MBK(BP) kurang bersistematik. Oleh itu, kajian ini bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti pemilihan bidang pendidikan bagi MBK (BP) di Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi. Reka bentuk tinjauan ini melibatkan 135 MBK (BP) yang berusia antara 13 hingga 16 tahun. Sebanyak 120 item daripada Instrumen Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK) telah digunakan dan mendapat nilai keseluruhan kebolehpercayan sebanyak 0.773. Data yang diperoleh dianalisis secara analisis deskriptif dan inferensi dengan menggunakan IBM SPSS Versi 22.0. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan majoriti MBK(BP) cenderung untuk memilih bidang Investigatif sebagai bidang pendidikan mereka (Min= 4.59, SP= 0.51). Malah, dapatan juga menunjukkan bahawa tidak terdapat perbezaan antara lelaki dan perempuan MBK (BP) dalam pemilihan bidang Investigatif (t=1.007; p>0.05). Dapatan ini diharapkan dapat membantu MBK (BP), ibu bapa dan guru dalam membuat pemilihan bidang pendidikan yang selaras dengan minat dan keupayaan MBK (BP). Abstract-Education choice can determine a student's career success. However, the choice of education for the Student with Learning Disabilities-MBK (BP) is less explored. Thus, the aim of this study is to identify the tendency of education choice for MBK (BP). The design of this survey involving 351 MBK (BP), aged between 13 and 16 years. A total of 120 items of Instruments Career Interest Inventory (IMK) have been used in this study and resulted in the overall reliability of 0.773. The analyzing of the data for mean and t-test using IBM SPSS version 22.0. The findings show that the majority of MBK (BP) tend to choose Investigative fields as their education choice (Min = 4:59, SD = 0.51). Also, the findings show that there are differences between boys and girls MBK (BP) in the choice of the Investigative fields (t = 1.007; p> 0.05). These findings demonstrate the importance of career education program exposure to the MBK (BP) for them to make the choice that consistent with themselves and learning environment.
... ▪ kulturell kompetanse ▪ språk, kommunikasjon og språkstøtte ▪ migrasjonshelse Holdninger, kunnskap og handlingsmåter er viktige i jobbspesialistkompetanse uansett målgruppe. Når det gjelder holdninger i jobbspesialistkompetanse, framstår troen på og oppfatningen av at deltakerne som ønsker å jobbe, kan få seg lønnet arbeid i det ordinaere arbeidsmarkedet, som svaert viktig (Tilson & Simonsen, 2013). Når det gjelder innvandrere med sammensatte bistandsbehov som målgruppe, er det å arbeide i Norge ikke hovedsakelig som en rettighet, men en plikt (Stjernø & Øverbye, 2012): Innvandrere med store bistandsbehov, ses på som ressurser, og det er derfor ønsket at de deltar og bidrar. ...
Technical Report
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supported employment, work inclusion, employment, immigrants, Jobbsjansen, introduksjonsprogram, Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet
... BHBF management adjusted staff retention and hiring policies to achieve a better match between project staff and project goals, ultimately establishing frontline staff who had interest and experience in serving youth with disabilities and conducting outreach to employers. This finding reinforces the need for these kinds of programs to be attentive to key characteristics and traits of potential staff in their recruitment and hiring policies and practices (Tilson & Simonsen, 2013). ...
Article
Background: Broadened Horizons, Brighter Futures (BHBF), a transition project in Miami-Dade County, Florida, was the focus of an evaluation of services and work incentives for youth who were receiving disability payments. Notable features of BHBF included paid work experiences for youth and the application of external technical assistance in implementing the program model. Objective: The evaluation documented the design and implementation of BHBF and assessed its impacts on outcomes for youth three years after they enrolled in the study. Methods:We randomly assigned 859 youth who were receiving disability payments to either a treatment group that was eligible to receive both BHBF services and waivers of certain disability program rules, or to a control group that was not eligible for either the services or the waivers. Results: Three years after they enrolled in the study, treatment group youth were more likely than youth in the control group to be employed, their earnings were 50 percent higher, and they were less likely to have had contact with the justice system. Conclusion: Interventions that include work experiences as a service component can improve outcomes for youth with disabilities. Empirical monitoring of project staff, combined with technical assistance, may be necessary to ensure a consistent focus on helping youth to find jobs.
... First, the literature strongly supports providing employers with direct support as an effective strategy for building positive relationships with businesses (Gustafsson et al., 2013;Luecking, 2009). This finding is also consistent with the idea that one of the primary roles of an employment specialist is to assist the employers of individuals with disabilities in the workplace (Tilson & Simonsen, 2013). Next, job matching is another practice widely recognized as being an effective strategy used by employment specialists and also helps develop positive relationships with businesses because employers are getting matched with employees who are a good fit for the specific position (Lewis et al., 2011;National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability, 2005). ...
Article
Under-employment for individuals with disabilities is a worldwide epidemic, which Singapore has addressed by significantly increasing employment rates for this population. Providing work experiences for youth with disabilities at community-based job sites has been shown to increase positive post-school employment outcomes. To provide these opportunities, employment specialists benefit from developing partnerships with businesses. For this study, 14 Singaporean employment specialists, from five different schools and one government agency, were interviewed to better understand strategies utilized to nurture these valuable partnerships with businesses. Data suggest effective partnerships include (a) direct support for employers, (b) job matching, (c) job customization, (d) involving businesses in the school community, and (e) parent involvement. Implications and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
... Walaupun kerajaan Amerika telah mewujudkan akta perundangan The Individual with Disabilities Education Act [30] namun hanya 9.4 % MBK (BP) yang berjaya memilih bidang pendidikan berdasarkan kepada keselarasan personaliti diri dengan persekitaran pembelajaran berbanding 35% daripada remaja yang seusia dengan mereka [20]. Menurut Tilson dan Simonsen [31] perkara ini amat diberi perhatian oleh kerajaan Amerika kerana masalah MBK (BP) untuk memilih bidang pendidikan semasa di sekolah menengah akan menyumbang kepada peningkatan kadar keciciran dan kemiskinan di Amerika. ...
Article
Post school outcomes for individuals with disabilities have been consistently poor, when compared to individuals without disabilities, in the areas of employment and education. This article takes a look at issues involved in the transition of youth with orthopedic or physical disabilities (OPD) and other health impairments (OHI). It begins with an overview of OPD and OHI students. This is followed by information on how to improve transition from school to work and postsecondary education outcomes through assessment; effective instruction; and individualized supports.
Article
Rehabilitation counselor skills, knowledge, and training are significant predictors of quality of employment outcome. In the past decade, vocational rehabilitation (VR) and placement-related work settings in Taiwan have gone through a tremendous amount of change to reflect changing policies, types of disabilities, and global factors. VR professionals’ competencies also need to be addressed to keep pace with this transformation. The purpose of this study was to validate the Taiwanese version of the Systems Approach to Placement: Self-Assessment for Students and Counselors (SAP-SASC), designed to identify critical areas of knowledge, skills, and competencies possessed by practicing VR professionals. A total of 116 participants completed the instrument. The participants represent (a) rehabilitation counseling master’s students from National Changhua University of Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, and National Taiwan Normal University and (b) job coaches, VR case managers, and other VR professionals from the Council of Labor Affairs in Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, and Taipei counties. Multi-trait scaling analysis revealed eight components of VR professionals’ competence (client, health, education, family, social, employer, placement, and funding). The respondents expressed the highest level of competence in providing job seeking and social skills training, addressing job modification needs, performing job analysis, and referring clients of community-based support services.
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Introduction: Youth with intellectual disabilities are severely marginalized in accessing employment. South African policies recognize this group as a priority in youth development efforts, but employment research focuses mainly on adults with disabilities. A lack of understanding about the employment endeavours of youth with intellectual disabilities leads to a shortfall in focused employment strategies and could perpetuate occupational injustices for this group. Aim: To explore how a South African work transition program for youth with intellectual disabilities promotes occupational justice through work. Methodology: Critical ethnography and a critical occupational perspective were used to highlight the socio-political context of the program and structural influences on opportunity in work for youth with intellectual disabilities. Eight in-depth interviews were conducted with program directors, a job coach, and an employer, plus five focus group interviews with employed and unemployed youth respectively. Available program documents were reviewed, and reflective journaling was done on observations during interviews. Content analysis of reviewed documents and thematic analysis of interview transcripts were completed. Manifestations of occupational justice were considered in all program aspects. Findings: The individualized support tenet of ‘supported employment’ promoted youth with intellectual disabilities’ uptake of occupational opportunities and sustained participation in work as meaningful occupation. Support was offered by different role players and premised on the program’s human rights foundation in recognition of a concern for contextual barriers, such as policy shortfalls that constrain employment participation and perpetuate occupational injustices for youth with intellectual disabilities.
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BACKGROUND: Researchers and others are worried about the marginalization of vulnerable youth who drop out of school and have difficulties finding and keeping a job. Supported Employment (SE) approaches have shown good employment results for persons with disabilities. Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for persons with severe mental challenges has shown particularly good effects. Can support based on the principles of IPS also contribute to increased job inclusion of vulnerable youth? OBJECTIVE: Research has suggested that the IPS principles are applicable to support for young adults with mental challenges, but little is known about their applicability to support for non-psychiatric populations. This article aims to expand knowledge in this field by discussing the applicability of the IPS principles to support for vulnerable youth aged 15-25 who do not necessarily have severe mental challenges. METHODS: The article is based on theme-oriented, cross-case analysis of qualitative data gathered from 16 youth pilots. RESULTS: Modifications of six of the eight IPS principles are suggested if applied to vulnerable youth in order to better meet their needs and situation. CONCLUSION: The IPS principles can be applied to vulnerable youth, but the analysis indicates that the suggested modifications will increase their applicability.
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The purpose of this study was to examine 41 secondary transition-focused personnel preparation projects funded between 2001 and 2016. Specifically, this study examined the amount and characteristics of these projects through a systematic abstract review. In addition, authors explored key issues in federally funded transition-focused personnel preparation programs as perceived by principal investigators of funded projects through telephone interviews. Results indicated a decline in Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)-funded personnel preparation grants over the period of 2001–2016. The interview results revealed three overarching themes regarding key issues in transition personnel preparation programs: (a) catalysts of successful program implementation, (b) critical content, and (c) program impact. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
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Background: A key step for increasing the employment outcomes of job seekers with disabilities includes ensuring that employment consultants who assist them have the tools to succeed, including feedback about how they are performing. Objective: Supporting employment consultants in their work with job seekers by providing feedback about the implementation of the support strategies recommended in the literature. Methods: Sixty-one employment consultants completed a daily survey for one year, on their smartphones. Results: Providing supports that lead to hire represented 30% of the employment consultants' work time. When providing supports that lead to hire, most of the primary interactions were with job seekers (69%), followed by business personnel (12%), and families or acquaintances (3%). Secondary interactions represented another 17% of time with business personnel and 8% with families or acquaintances. The largest share of supports leading to hire were provided in the offices of the employment consultants (41%). Conclusion: Employment consultants should be supported in investing a larger share of time in supports that lead to hire, increasing involvement of family members and business personnel, and providing supports in typical community settings rather than in their offices.
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Background: Students with disabilities often experience numerous challenges in terms of finding employment. Given the important role of vocational rehabilitation counselors in supporting employment activities for these students, a need exists for identifying effective strategies that increase employment outcomes for this population. Objective: The objective of this scoping review is to examine and describe successful research- based interventions on pre-employment transition services for students with disabilities that can be used by vocational rehabilitation counselors. Methods: The search strategy examined literature from 1998 through 2017 focused on vocational rehabilitation counselors, students with disabilities, and elements related to pre-employment transition services. Articles included American, European, and Australian literature published in English. Results: This review identified a number of research-based interventions that support employment outcomes for students with disabilities. Conclusions: The research-based interventions identified in this scoping review can help vocational rehabilitation counselors consider effective strategies for increasing employment outcomes for students with disabilities.
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BACKGROUND: Although individual placement and support (IPS) is established as an evidence-based model of supported employment, opportunities for improvements abound. Front-line supported employment practitioners are uniquely positioned to provide feedback on implementation. OBJECTIVE: This study investigates IPS from a practitioner perspective to illuminate themes in practitioner endorsement, advantages, disadvantages, growth opportunities, ideal practitioner characteristics, sequence of services and methods for promoting self-determination. METHODS: Sixty-seven employment practitioners completed an open-ended survey about IPS implementation. Qualitative results were analyzed using Lofland and Lofland's (1984) systematic filing system and Berg's (2004) themes to combine similar items into categorical frameworks. RESULTS: Three conceptual frameworks are described: Program, Practitioner Characteristics and Practitioner Essential Tasks. Despite general endorsement of IPS, many complexities are discussed. Practitioners emphasized the importance of interpersonal skills in establishing rapport, promoting hope and encouraging self-determination. Highly organized, persistent practitioners who balance client and business needs are seen as most effective. CONCLUSIONS: We offer these frameworks for utilization by IPS practitioners, researchers and stakeholders for the purposes of program development and organizational decision-making.
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Postschool outcomes for youth with disabilities vary depending on culture, ethnicity, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the needs of youth with disabilities from Latino backgrounds who are transitioning from school to adulthood in Oregon. Using a conceptual model that included community context, cultural context, and individual factors, the authors conducted individual and focus group interviews with school and transition professionals, Latino youth, and their families to identify available transition services and barriers faced by this population. The results were summarized into five major categories: (a) language issues, (b) concerns regarding documentation and citizenship, (c) lack of culturally appropriate practices, (d) barriers to family participation and, (e) limited school and community resources. Findings support the need for changes in transition service delivery for Latino students with disabilities at both the individual and school district levels.
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Self-efficacy theory predicts that people will perform better when they believe they have the skills necessary for success. It also suggests, however, that believing in long-term rewards for success ("response-outcome expectations") does not correlate with adequate performance. This paper supports the generality of self-efficacy theory and provides evidence that self-efficacy beliefs predict insurance sales performance, whereas response-outcome expectations did not. A questionnaire was developed to measure self-efficacy beliefs and response-outcome expectations using 200 insurance sales representatives. Regression analyses were computed on a different sample of 97 insurance sales representatives using four separate dependent variables (calls-per-week; number of policies sold; sales revenue and a composite performance index on which actual sales commission was based). (1) These analyses established a correlation (but no causal relationship) between self-efficacy beliefs and sales performance. (2) The generality of self-efficacy theory in a business setting is suggested by the relationship between self-efficacy and objective measures of sales performance. (3) The relevance of these results, and the importance of integrating them into the practice of organizational behavior modification is discussed.
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The amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) in 2004 reiterate the significance of producing real postsecondary education, employment, and independent living outcomes. However, current employment data continue to show widespread unemployment and very limited access to inclusive community environments and services for adults with severe intellectual disabilities. On the contrary, data from the Transition Service Integration Model (N. J. Certo et al., 2003) demonstrate that these recalcitrant problems could be attenuated if two changes are implemented: the transition from school to adulthood components of IDEIA be strengthened to explicitly authorize school districts to subcontract with appropriate private agencies at the point of transition to produce direct-hire, individualized employment and adult living outcomes and that the federal government amend the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act to provide an entitlement to long-term support, creating a service system which parallels the functions of IDEIA after school exit.
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This study examined the impact of acculturation patterns and related variables on employment and vocational rehabilitation (VR) experiences of Latinos with disabilities. Acculturation and related variables of acculturative stress, English proficiency, educational attainment, familial support, and cultural mistrust were investigated using quantitative and qualitative methods. First, the Disability and Employment Survey was completed by 59 Latinos with disabilities. Second, 9 Latinos with disabilities participated in either an English- or Spanish-speaking focus group. Findings revealed that participants with lower identification with the United States cultural domain (USCD) struggled more with employment and VR outcomes than those with stronger identification. Specifically, lower identification with the USCD was associated with limited English proficiency and educational attainment and increased acculturative stress, which in turn tended to negatively impact employment and VR experiences post-disability. Among participants with higher identification with the USCD, familial support was an important factor when seeking employment. Finally, irrespective of acculturation pattern, cultural mistrust toward the VR system was evident and may be a barrier to seeking such services. Findings from this study may have policy and programmatic implications to improve employment opportunities and VR services for Latinos with disabilities.
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Although postsecondary employment outcomes for transition-age youth with disabilities have improved over the past decade, minority youth with disabilities continue to lag behind their peers in achieving a job. This study of predominantly minority youth participating in the Marriott Foundation's Bridges From School to Work Program from 2000 to 2005 analyzed data for 4,571 urban youth to determine what factors are associated with securing employment, and the nature of the jobs that are secured. Findings indicated that 68% of the youth in the program secured a job, a rate considerably higher than the national average. Results of the study also indicate that gender, previous vocational experience, and receipt of Social Security benefits were among the significant factors predicting employment.
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The purpose of this study is to determine (a) the patterns that existed in employment preparation courses offered by districts across a midwestern state and (b) the primary intent, primary method of instruction, and location of the classroom-based and work-based components of these courses. Findings indicated that (a) employment preparation offerings were limited, (b) career and technical education was the primary vehicle for delivering employment preparation, (c) the majority of employment preparation course work was offered in the classroom setting, (d) the intent of instruction for work-based-only courses was different from other delivery models, (e) the primary method of instruction in classroom-based-only courses was combined lecture and experiential, and (f) the method of delivering work-based learning differed by model.
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We investigated the extent to which employment consultants implemented job development practices recommended in the literature when assisting job seekers with intellectual or developmental disabilities. We contacted 83 employment consultants from 25 employment programs in Minnesota and Connecticut. Fifty-nine participants were eligible and completed surveys. We found inconsistencies between the employment consultants' practices and the job development literature in areas such as involvement of family members and acquaintances, observation of job seekers in work and nonwork environments, analyses of employers' needs, development of customized jobs, and assistance with work incentives planning. We recommend a system-wide effort for supporting employment consultants in implementing promising job development practices. This effort needs to involve funding agencies, employment programs, accreditation agencies, training programs, and researchers.
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The Individual Placement and Support model of supported employment is one of the most robust interventions available for people with severe mental illness. Supported employment specialists deliver this intervention. There has been little research on what influences specialists' performance in the field. This paper redresses this deficit by documenting characteristics and competencies self-reported by specialists as influential to proficient performance in the field. Twenty-two qualitative interviews were conducted with specialists and their supervisors. Content analysis suggested the importance of eight factors: (1) initiative; (2) outreach; (3) persistence; (4) hardiness; (5) empathy; (6) passion; (7) team orientation (8) professionalism.