Conference PaperPDF Available

Use of Welfare Technology to Increase Employment of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities


Abstract and Figures

Welfare technology can be applied to increase the involvement and independence of individuals with disabilities. While it is mainly applied for elderly, there are also initiatives for persons with intellectual disabilities, for different purposes. This group is currently marginalized in the labour market and there is a need to increase the support for employment. In this study, we provide an overview of previous literature reviews on intellectual disability and employment. Based on these findings, we discuss in which areas welfare technology could support employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. The results show that employer attitudes, job coaches and support programs are important for employment. Drawing on prioritised areas within welfare technology , we recommend to study how technology can be supportive within these areas, focusing on social inclusion in working life, a structured working life and public service delivery.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Use of Welfare Technology to Increase Employment of Individuals with Intellectual
Sofie Wassa, Carl Erik Moeb, Elin Thygesenc, Silje Hauglandd
aDepartment of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway
bDepartment of Information Systems, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway
cDepartment of Health and Nursing Science, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway
dDepartment of Psycosocial Health, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway
Welfare technology can be applied to increase the involve-
ment and independence of individuals with disabilities. While
it is mainly applied for elderly, there are also initiatives for
persons with intellectual disabilities, for different purposes.
This group is currently marginalized in the labour market
and there is a need to increase the support for employment.
In this study, we provide an overview of previous literature
reviews on intellectual disability and employment. Based on
these findings, we discuss in which areas welfare technology
could support employment of individuals with intellectual
disabilities. The results show that employer attitudes, job
coaches and support programs are important for employ-
ment. Drawing on prioritised areas within welfare technolo-
gy, we recommend to study how technology can be support-
ive within these areas, focusing on social inclusion in work-
ing life, a structured working life and public service delivery.
Intellectual Disability, Employment, Technology.
Welfare technology is seen as an important concept and in-
novation policy in the Scandinavian countries [1]. With an
increasing need for welfare services, and with fewer people
to provide those services, technology is viewed as an im-
portant step in managing that challenge. Welfare technology
can be applied to maintain or increase involvement and/or
independence of individuals with disabilities [2, 3]. It en-
compasses services for clients, healthcare professionals, rela-
tives, industries and the society [2] and is seen as a heteroge-
neous group of technologies ranging from communication
support, assistive technology, disease management, technol-
ogy for everyday tasks, entertainment and social support [4,
5]. In Norway, welfare technology is often defined as
“…technological assistance that contributes to increased
security, social participation, mobility and physical and cul-
tural activity, and strengthens the individual's ability to
manage himself in everyday life despite illness and social,
psychological or physical impairment. Welfare technology
can also serve as support for next-of-kin and otherwise help
improve accessibility, resource utilization and quality of ser-
vice [3]."
Welfare technology is mainly applied for elderly living at
home, for instance as safety and fall alarms and different
kind of sensors implemented in the home environment. Other
examples include technology that provides medication re-
minders and the use of tablets and mobile phones to reduce
social isolation and to increase efficiency [2, 3, 5]. However,
there are also initiatives for applying welfare technology for
persons with intellectual disabilities, both in Norway [3, 6]
and in other Scandinavian countries [2]. These initiatives
include sensors and alarms [2] but also technologies for lo-
calisation, communication, structure and time management
and information exchange between different actors [7].
Today, a majority of Norwegian individuals with intellectual
disabilities either have placements at day-centers (48%) or in
workplaces provided by social care services (41%). In addi-
tion, almost all individuals receive social support at the age
of 26 [8] and compared to other OECD countries there is a
high rate of incapacity-related support [9]. A Norwegian re-
port shows that individuals with disabilities are marginalized
in both the traditional labor market and in segregated work-
places within the state labor market initiative [8]. A similar
situation is also the case for other Scandinavian countries
[10, 11]. This is a challenge as an active working life is de-
scribed as one of the foundations for inclusion in society.
Apart from earning livelihood, it has a positive impact on
establishing a social network and identity, increasing self-
esteem, providing structure and increasing health and well-
being [10, 12-14]. Hence, we argue that there is a need to
increase the support for employment of individuals with in-
tellectual disabilities.
The work market is changing, it is becoming more unstable
and complex, and also asks for flexibility of workers and
this makes it important to understand how individuals with
intellectual disabilities can be supported in the work market
[15]. The aim of this paper is to present an overview of pre-
vious literature reviews on intellectual disability and em-
ployment and to identify areas that are of importance for ob-
taining and maintaining employment. Based on these find-
ings, we aim to discuss in which areas welfare technology
could support the employment of individuals with intellectual
The databases of Academic Search Complete, MedLine,
PsycINFO, CINAHL and EMBASE were scanned for re-
views focusing on intellectual disability and employment.
The following keywords were used: intellectual disability
AND employment AND review, and these were searched for
in the abstract, with no restriction for included years. In total,
123 articles and book chapters were obtained. We included
both systematic and scoping reviews, that investigated barri-
ers and enablers for employment of individuals with intellec-
tual disabilities. In addition, one review article was retrieved
based on back tracking references, hence; we started with a
total of 124 articles and book chapters.
After removing duplicates (n=76) and book chapters (n=4),
the abstracts of 44 articles were read to determine an inclu-
sion or not. This resulted in the exclusion of 39 articles due
to a focus on the situation of individuals with disabilities in
specific countries (n=5), specific approaches or interventions
(n=8), cost analysis (n=4), quality of life or social inclusion
(n=7), not providing a review of existing literature or lacking
a description of the search strategy (n=11), other focus (n=4)
or not being accessible (n=3). In total, 5 review articles were
included for further analysis (Figure 1).
Figure - Flow diagram of the search process.
As a second step, the articles were read in detail. The cited
studies, included in the reviews, that reported barriers and
enablers for employment were classified in four main
themes; the workplace context, the individual context, the
societal context and the use of technology or techniques. The
cited studies were assessed to determine the outcome of the
investigated enablers/barriers. For example, in the review by
Cheng, Oakman [16], a study by McInnes et al. [2010] re-
ported that “following job coaching, participants are three
times more likely to be employed”. Hence, a positive impact
was coded for the area individual context – job coaches.
Studies that stated that employment of individuals with disa-
bilities was low, but with no further explanation were not
included in the analysis. Table 1 shows an overview of how
the barriers and enablers were classified into different areas
(a detailed overview can be obtained from the lead author).
Table 1: Areas that influence the employment of individuals
with intellectual disabilities.
Area Study
Total number of studies
Workplace context = 35 articles
Co-workers' support
Employer attitudes
Individual context = 51 articles
Job training & Job search
Job matching
Job coaches
Societal context = 8 articles
Welfare benefits
Welfare technology & techniques = 18 articles
Studies not focusing on
factors for employment
The workplace context
The workplace context included issues connected to support
from co-workers and opinions of employers regarding indi-
viduals with intellectual disabilities. The largest number of
studies relating to the workplace context was included in the
review by Ellenkamp, Brouwers [17] (n=14). While it was
found that support from co-workers was important for inte-
gration and interaction in the workplace (n=10), it seems
unclear how it affects the possibilities of obtaining or main-
Papers identified
through database search
(n = 123)
Papers screened and as-
sessed for eligibility (n =
Papers excluded (n = 39)
Papers included in the
review (n = 5)
Duplicates and book chap-
removed (n = 4 + 76)
taining employment. Only two studies found support for
maintaining work. The results in the review by Cheng,
Oakman [16] were varied, one of the studies cited found that
support from co-workers can increase job placement rates
while the other three studies found no support for such rates.
Similar findings were indicated in the review by Hedley,
Uljarevic [18] in which one study identified that a supportive
workplace fosters the success of individuals with autism
spectrum disorder. In two other studies, employees with in-
tellectual disabilities stressed the importance of support and
understanding in the workplace but the effect on the quality
of the employment was unclear. Six studies in the review by
vgren, Markström [20] suggested that peer support im-
proves the opportunities to obtain and keep an employment
but with no ascertained evidence. Two of the studies did
stress that simply providing support is not enough, there is
also need for some form of education, for instance mentor-
ing, and for financial support. This was explored in another
study. The study showed that while education in mentoring
for staff members who work with job training for individuals
with intellectual disabilities improved the feedback provided
by staff members, the behavior of the individuals with disa-
bilities remained unchanged [18].
Employers’ attitudes towards employing individuals with
disabilities were identified as an important enabler in two of
the reviews [17, 19]. Two studies found that safety, produc-
tivity, attendance, availability of supportive services, no be-
havioral problems and punctuality are of importance to em-
ployers [17]. In addition, employers with previous experienc-
es of staff with intellectual disability are more likely to em-
ploy individuals with disabilities compared to those without
previous experiences [17]. The review by Cavanagh, Bartram
[19] focused on human resource management and identified
seven studies which reported that employer attitudes are a
barrier towards employment of individuals with intellectual
The individual context
A large number of articles focused on support for the indi-
vidual. This included job training, job search assistance, job
matching and job coaches. The review by Hedley, Uljarevic
[18] found 14 studies which explored the importance of em-
ployment support programs and services, such as job search
assistance and on-the-job training. The impact of such sup-
port was reported to have a positive effect on obtaining em-
ployment in all fourteen studies and one of the studies re-
ported positive influence on increased working hours and
wages. Four out of five studies in the review by Ellenkamp,
Brouwers [17] found that job training was an important ena-
bler for obtaining employment. The review by Cheng,
Oakman [16] included six articles that focused on different
kind of job support in which job search assistance and on-
the-job training were found to be helpful in gaining and re-
taining an open employment. A small case study found sup-
port for the combination of off-the-job training and on-the-
job training for individuals with autism for quicker skill up-
take and gaining experience of a work context. While it
made the participants work ready it is unclear if it had any
effect on employment [19]. Alternatives to early placement
for on-the-job training were presented in one review (n=3)
[20]. This included short periods at different workplaces for
individuals with autism in order to foster an understanding of
work. However; the connection to obtaining or maintaining
employment was not reported.
The importance of matching the interests of the individual
with the employment was mentioned in all the reviews [16-
20]. One study found positive support for the use of person-
centered planning to determine employment preferences [16]
and another study found that matching interests and abilities
increased the possibility to maintain employment [17]. Two
studies recommended that matches should be more strategic
and focus on occupations where individuals with intellectual
disabilities are well-represented [20]. Ten additional studies
recommended matching of interests and work, still it seems
unclear how it affects the possibilities of obtaining or main-
taining employment.
Four studies in the review by Cheng, Oakman [16] focused
on job coaches. Three of them showed that coaches have a
positive effect on obtaining and retaining an employment.
This was also indicated by four other studies which found
that job coaches were important for employers’ decision to
hire individuals with intellectual disabilities and for main-
taining employment [17, 18]. However, one study showed
that a decrease of job coach support can have positive out-
comes on work productivity for individuals with severe intel-
lectual disability [16].
The societal context
One study related to welfare benefits showed that subsidies
for employers as well as individually placed persons in-
creased the salary of individuals with intellectual disabilities
[17]. The role of welfare programs was also mentioned in the
review by Cavanagh, in which three studies reported on the
need for increased support from such programs. A call for
more coordinated work around welfare programs was men-
tioned in four other studies [20]. However, the negative im-
pact on employment due to current programs was not de-
Welfare technology and techniques
Concerning completion of work tasks, three of the reviews
included studies that focused on the use of instructional ap-
proaches (n=6) and welfare technologies (n=12) [16-18].
Different kind of non-technological approaches included
training for work tasks with the use of specific words, career
development tasks [17] and checklists [16] which all showed
to increase the work performance of individuals. One study
discussed an assessment instrument [17] and two articles ex-
plored behavior techniques including incidental teaching,
discrete-trail teaching and social stories [16, 18]. These re-
sults seemed promising but due to limited research, the ef-
fects on employment outcomes had not been identified.
The use of welfare technology to assist individuals with disa-
bilities included teaching of tasks through e.g. video instruc-
tions and audio coaching [16] which both showed to improve
work performance. Hedley, Uljarevic [18] also reported on
positive outcomes of implementing a personal digital assis-
tant which increased working time and using virtual jobs
which improved interviewing skills. The use of an iPad at
work was also shown to increase independence, confidence,
time management and organizational skills. However, the
effects of video self-modelling to learn work tasks [16] and
the impact of other applications could not be ascertained
[18]. In total, half of the studies did not report a positive im-
pact on improved work performance while the other half did.
The reviews included in our study focused on barriers and
enablers for employment of individuals with intellectual dis-
ability. The reviews showed limited support for positive out-
comes on employment for areas such as co-workers’ support
and job matching. While these areas were stressed as im-
portant in several studies, few studies reported on actual im-
pact on either obtaining or maintaining employment. On the
other hand, the support from co-workers did however in-
crease the integration of individuals with intellectual disabili-
ties and their interaction with colleagues. A few studies dis-
cussed welfare benefits and criticized current initiatives but
lacked support for its’ negative impact on employment.
The reviews and the cited studies focusing on employer atti-
tudes showed that their attitudes towards individuals with
disabilities are important for obtaining and maintaining an
employment. While there were few studies focusing on job
coaches, seven out of eight studies supported the positive
influence of job coaches. In addition, the majority of the
studies on support programs (22/27) reported positive evi-
dence related to employment. The studies of applications of
different approaches and technologies to support employment
of individuals with intellectual disabilities, reported mixed
results, showing either positive effects on work performance
or the need of more research. To summarize, the following
areas seem to be important for the ability to obtain and main-
tain an employment: (1) employer attitudes, (2) job coaches
and (3) support programs.
It appears that the employment of individuals with intellectu-
al disabilities depends on several initiatives and that there is
a need to work within several areas. In view of the current
discussion on the potential of welfare technology [21] it is of
vital importance to explore if and how welfare technology
can be applied within these areas. In Norway, an influential
white paper argued to focus on three main technology areas:
safety alarms, technology that increases social inclusion and
technology that supports an active and structured everyday
life [3]. For individuals with intellectual disabilities, the last
two areas are of interest due to the current exclusion from
working life [8, 9, 15] and due to the individuals’ disability,
limiting their actions that are performed within a societal
environment [22, 23]. Drawing on these recommendations
and the results in our study, we recommend to explore the
potential of welfare technologies in the following areas:
Technologies that support social inclusion in working
life, targeting employer attitudes, activities provided
by job coaches and activities performed in support
Technologies that support a structured working life,
targeting activities provided by job coaches and activ-
ities within support programs.
Apart from the three main areas, there is a need to invest in
technologies that support the delivery of public services and
the exchange of information between all involved actors in
the welfare system [3]. This is similar to what is described as
back-office technologies for public e-services, i.e. the parts
of the service process which is not visible to citizens but
connected to the technology in the supplying organization
[24]. With the wide range of actors involved in the use of
public e-services and its complexity, it is important that in-
formation can be communicated and shared without disrup-
tion [25]. We therefore propose to study technologies that
support the internal components of public services that are
offered to individuals with intellectual disabilities. This in-
cludes technologies used by other users, for instance those
who are employed in social services, schools and healthcare
services, who are in contact with individuals with intellectual
This study included English language reviews published in
peer-reviewed outlets, which neglects findings presented in
white papers and in other languages. Further, only a small
number of reviews were identified, however; we believe that
the included reviews cover many studies and that our study
presents a synthesis of the literature.
Our synthesis of the reviews and the included articles pre-
sents a number of areas that are of importance for employ-
ment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Employer
attitudes, job coaches, support programs and, to some extent,
technology appear to play an important role for the possibil-
ity to obtain and maintain employment. With this back-
ground, it should be further explored how welfare technolo-
gies can be applied within these areas, focusing on social
inclusion, a structured working life and public service deliv-
This work was supported by the Norwegian Research Coun-
cil, through the project InnArbeid [grant number 269019].
[1] Brynn R. Universal Design and Welfare Technology.
Studies in health technology and informatics 2016: 229:
[2] Socialstyrelsen. E-hälsa och välfärdsteknik i kommuner-
na 2017.
[3] Norges offentlige utredninger. Innovasjon i omsorg.
[4] Hofmann B. Ethical Challenges with Welfare Technolo-
gy: A Review of the Literature. Sci Eng Ethics. 2013: 19
(2): 389-406.
[5] Stowe S, Harding S. Telecare, telehealth and telemedi-
cine. Eur Geriatr Med. 2010: 1 (3): 193-7.
[6] Knarvik U, Rotvold G-H, Bjørvig S, Bakkevoll P-A.
Kunnskapsoppsummering: Velferdsteknologi. Tromsø:
Nasjonalt senter for e-helseforskning, 2017; pp. 1-43.
[7] Trondsen MV, Knarvik U. Velferdsteknologi for barn og
unge med funksjonsnedsettelser. Tromsø: Nasjonalt sen-
ter for e-helseforskning, 2017; pp. 1-34.
[8] Wendelborg C, Kittelsaa AM, Wik SE. Overgang skole
arbeidsliv for elever med utviklingshemming. Trond-
heim, Norge: NTNU Samfunnsforskning AS, 2017.
[9] OECD. Investing in Youth: Norway Paris: OECD Pub-
lishing, 2018.
[10] Tideman M, Lövgren V, Szönyi K, Bergkvist C, Haghjo
A. Intellektuell funktionsnedsättning och arbete. Stock-
holm, Sweden: Forte, 2017.
[11] Børne- og Socialministeriet. Modtagere af kontanthjælp
med handicap. In: Afdeling for Analyse og Datastrateg,
editor, 2018; pp. 1-12.
[12] Kober R, Eggleton IRC. The effect of different types of
employment on quality of life. J Intell Disabil Res. 2005:
49 (10): 756-60.
[13] Law M, Steinwender S, Leclair L. Occupation, Health
and Well-Being. Can J Occup Ther. 1998: 65 (2): 81-91.
[14] Beyer S, Brown T, Akandi R, Rapley M. A Comparison
of Quality of Life Outcomes for People with Intellectual
Disabilities in Supported Employment, Day Services and
Employment Enterprises. J Appl Res Intellect. 2010: 23
(3): 290-5.
[15] Santilli S, Nota L, Ginevra MC, Soresi S. Career adapta-
bility, hope and life satisfaction in workers with intellec-
tual disability. J Vocat Behav. 2014: 85 (1): 67-74.
[16] Cheng C, Oakman J, Bigby C, Fossey E, Cavanagh J,
Meacham H, et al. What constitutes effective support in
obtaining and maintaining employment for individuals
with intellectual disability? A scoping review. J Intellect
Dev Dis. 2017: 1-11.
[17] Ellenkamp JJ, Brouwers EP, Embregts PJ, Joosen MC,
van Weeghel J. Work Environment-Related Factors in
Obtaining and Maintaining Work in a Competitive Em-
ployment Setting for Employees with Intellectual Disa-
bilities: A Systematic Review. J Occup Rehabil. 2016:
26 (1): 56-69.
[18] Hedley D, Uljarevic M, Cameron L, Halder S, Richdale
A, Dissanayake C. Employment programmes and inter-
ventions targeting adults with autism spectrum disorder:
A systematic review of the literature. Autism. 2017: 21
(8): 929-41.
[19] Cavanagh J, Bartram T, Meacham H, Bigby C, Oakman
J, Fossey E. Supporting workers with disabilities: a scop-
ing review of the role of human resource management in
contemporary organisations. Asia Pac J Hum Resou.
2017: 55 (1): 6-43.
[20] Lövgren V, Markström U, Sauer L. Towards Employ-
ment: What Research Says About Support-to-Work in
Relation to Psychiatric and Intellectual Disabilities. J
Soc Work Disabil Rehab. 2017: 16 (1): 14-37.
[21] Nordens välfärdscenter. Nordisk tankesmedja om
välfärdsteknologi 2018 [Available from:
[22] ICD-10. Den internasjonale statistiske klassifikasjonen
av sykdommer og beslektede helseproblemer Diktoratet
for e-helse, 2018.
[23] Association AP. Diagnostic and statistical manual of
mental disorders (DSM-5®): American Psychiatric Pub,
[24] Lindgren I, Jansson G. Electronic services in the public
sector: A conceptual framework. Gov Inform Q. 2013:
30 (2): 163-72.
[25] Axelsson K, Melin U, Lindgren I. Public e-services for
agency efficiency and citizen benefit — Findings from a
stakeholder centered analysis. Gov Inform Q. 2013: 30
(1): 10-22.
Address for correspondence
Sofie Wass,
... Outside of Scandinavia, WT is often referred to as "assisted technologies" [7] or "active and assisted living technologies" [8]. WT helps save time, cost, and personnel; it also enhances independence, quality of life, and health management in everyday life [9][10][11]. ...
... Initiatives have mainly focussed on technologies for alarms and sensors, localization, communication, and sharing information between different actors [16]. Previous research has explored mostly the usefulness and relevance of WT for people with intellectual disabilities [10,[17][18][19][20][21]. Healthcare staff are often essential agents in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, and their perceptions and experiences of using WT are important [19,22]. ...
... Similarly, a recent study found surveillance and health maintenance devices as the most used sensor technology for the care of persons with visual-or visual-and intellectual disabilities [36]. Previous research has reported that appropriate WT can improve quality of life, daily functioning, and societal activities and facilitate ongoing inclusion efforts in people with intellectual disabilities [9, 10,16,18,35,37,38]. Based on the student's assignments, it seems that the services, to a certain extent, had implemented WT to help the residents master their own health and lives. ...
Full-text available
Purpose: Little is known about how welfare technology (WT) is used in welfare services for people with intellectual disabilities. This study aimed to explore expectations, experiences, and challenges concerning the use of WT for people with intellectual disabilities among bachelor-level intellectual disability nursing students during clinical placement. Materials and methods: A written reflection assignment (four open questions about using WT) was collected from 100 intellectual disability nursing students (30 males, 70 females). Four focus group discussions were also performed with 13 intellectual disability nursing students before and after their clinical placements. Results: Analysis of the assignments showed that "security and safety" technology was the most frequently used WT category for people with intellectual disabilities in the clinical placement settings in municipal welfare and day services. The students reported "Compensation and wellness" technology as the top category to promote the quality of services for people with intellectual disabilities. However, people with intellectual disabilities mostly used WT for "Social contact". Students were mainly positive towards WT and believed it could improve the service quality and the everyday lives of this group. However, the students requested to learn more about WT and ethical issues regarding WT before clinical placement. Additionally, they experienced a lack of knowledge, focus, and awareness about technology in services for this group. Conclusion: The findings suggest that although intellectual disability nursing students have a positive attitude towards using WT for people with intellectual disabilities, they require more skill training and ethical knowledge before entering clinical practice. � IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION � Students were mainly positive towards welfare technology and believed that it could improve the service quality and the everyday lives of people with intellectual disabilities. � Before their clinical placement, intellectual disability nursing students requested to learn more about welfare technology and ethical issues regarding welfare technology. � "Security and safety" technology was the most used category for people with intellectual disabilities in the municipal welfare and day services. � "Social contact" technology was the most used category by people with intellectual disabilities. ARTICLE HISTORY
Full-text available
Purpose: Little is known regarding what assistive technology (AT) exists and how it is used in welfare services for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). This study aimed to explore healthcare staff’s perspectives and insights regarding AT in daily support and welfare services for people with ID. We also sought to explore the associations between the use of AT and workplace-related factors and background characteristics (e.g., gender, age, and experience). Materials and methods: Three focus group discussions were conducted with 11 informants (8 women, 3 men) working in home-based and day services. Also, 176 healthcare staff (43 men, 133 women) who worked in municipal home-based services and day services completed a questionnaire comprised of background questions and 14 items with a five-point answer scale. Results: Number of years using AT was positively associated with a positive attitude and use of AT among the staff. Staff were mainly positive towards AT and believed that it could represent various possibilities in the everyday lives of people with ID and their own service delivery. However, the staff expressed uncertainties and ethical concerns regarding AT, and they experienced a lack of knowledge, focus, and awareness about technology in services for this group. The quantitative results mainly showed positive associations between believing in AT’s usefulness and using it in services for people with ID. Conclusions: The findings indicate that providing equipment and resources, personal interests, and staff attitudes are essential factors in successfully implementing AT for people with ID.
Full-text available
Background People with an intellectual disability value work as a significant part of their lives, and many of them want to participate in regular paid employment. Current estimates show that the number of people with ID who have some form of paid employment are very low, ranging from 9 to 40 % across different countries, despite legislations. This review examines papers published in the past 20 years in an attempt to answer the following research question: ‘What work environment-related factors contribute to obtaining or maintaining work in competitive employment for people with an intellectual disability?’ Method The databases of PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Embase and Web of Science were searched for relevant papers published between 1993 and 2013. All papers were independently screened by two researchers. Methodological quality of the studies was evaluated, and data on work environment-related factors stimulating employment for people with intellectual disabilities were extracted and grouped into categories. Results A total of 1932 articles were retrieved. After extensive screening for relevance and quality, 26 articles were included in this review. Four themes/categories with work environment-related factors that could influence work participation were distinguished. Five studies were conducted on employers’ decisions and opinions. Eight focused on job content and performance, and eight on workplace interaction and culture. Five studies evaluated support by job coaches. Conclusion Despite ongoing legislation to promote participation of people with intellectual disabilities in the paid workforce, research in this area is still extremely scarce. In the past 20 years, very few studies have focused on work environment-related factors that can enhance competitive work for people with intellectual disabilities. This review shows that relevant work environment-related factors for obtaining and maintaining work in competitive employment include supporting the employers by paying specific attention to: employer’s decisions, job content, integration and work culture and job coaches. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10926-015-9586-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Full-text available
Electronic services provided by governmental organizations, here referred to as public e-services, are frequently discussed in the e-government literature. There is, however, little consensus on the meaning of the concepts used to describe and discuss these e-services, and hence, the literature is full of synonymous terms and concepts. This paper is conceptual and presents efforts to understand e-services in the public sector domain by unpacking the public e-service concept into three dimensions; as being (1) a service, (2) electronic, and (3) public (as contrasted to being private). Based on a hermeneutic analysis, these dimensions are discussed in a number of combinations, illustrating that a multi-dimensional take on public e-services must be adopted in order to capture the complexity of governmentally supplied e-services and contribute to theory development, as well as practical utility.
The paper presents the background for the increased interest for and use of welfare technology. It discusses current definitions of welfare technology and suggests a typology of this technology based on the different definitions. It compares the definitions with that of assistive technology and endeavors to draw a clearer limit between them, in particular related to possibilities to utilize the principle of universal design on welfare technology. The issue of operationalization requirements of universal design to welfare technology through standardization is also discussed. Finally, the paper suggests what elements should be part of a new definition of welfare technology.
Background: Employment rates for Australians with an intellectual disability remain low. Effective evidence-based strategies are required to guide future interventions, to enable people with intellectual disability achieve better employment outcomes. Methods: A literature search of peer-reviewed articles published between 2001 and 2015 was conducted using four electronic databases. Articles were reviewed and sorted according to employment setting and type of support provided. Results: Twenty-two studies were identified. Four studies of open employment examined workplace level strategies and 17 investigated individual level strategies. A single study of supported employment examined individual level change. Results suggested potential strategies that can be utilised to support people with intellectual disability obtain and maintain employment. Conclusions: Existing evidence regarding open employment for people with intellectual disabilities could be enhanced through the conduct of rigorous outcomes-focused studies that attend to specific strategies at both individual and organisation levels.
This article presents an overview of research about support-to-work in relation to psychiatric and intellectual disabilities. The overview shows that support-to-work services are multifaceted, and that work can be seen as a tool for individual rehabilitation or as a set of goals to achieve. Providers are presented with specific components, which are characterized by systematic, targeted, and individualized interventions. The overview illustrates a need for long-term engagement and cooperation of and between welfare services and agents within the labor market to dissolve the Gordian knot that the transition from welfare interventions to employment seems to be.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder face significant challenges entering the workforce; yet research in this area is limited and the issues are poorly understood. In this systematic review, empirical peer-reviewed studies on employment programmes, interventions and employment-related outcomes in individuals with autism spectrum disorder over 18 years with and without intellectual disability were identified and evaluated. The review was prefaced by a summary of previous systematic reviews in the area. Web of Science, Medline, PsychINFO, ERIC and Scopus databases were systematically searched through to October 2015. From 32,829 records identified in the initial search, 10 review and 50 empirical articles, comprising N = 58,134 individuals with autism spectrum disorder, were included in the review. Selected articles were organised into the following themes: employment experiences, employment as a primary outcome, development of workplace skills, non-employment-related outcomes, assessment instruments, employer-focused and economic impact. Empirical studies were limited by poor participant characterisation, small sample size and/or a lack of randomisation and use of appropriate controls. Poor conceptualisation and measurement of outcomes significantly limited study quality and interpretation. Future research will require a multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach to explore employment outcomes on the individual, the family system, co-workers and the employer, along with the impact of individual differences on outcome.
This is a scoping review of literature on human resource management (HRM) and management practice that impacts on workers with physical, mental health and intellectual disabilities, employed or entering paid employment. The aim is to illuminate the use of HRM practices, managerial attitudes and employee outcomes in the disability literature. The methodological research framework commenced with seven databases and was supported with evidenced-based literature to find three main themes. Themes highlight the management and employer support for workers with disabilities , discrimination and attitudes towards employment of this cohort of workers, and performance and employment outcomes. As governments around the world seek to reduce welfare costs and increase the employment of people with disabilities this paper is timely. Overall, the paper contributes to a dearth of literature on the management of people with disabilities at the workplace to unpack the key barriers, challenges and trends, and develop a comprehensive research agenda. Key points 1 This paper presents a scoping review of human resource management (HRM) and disability literature to inform management practice and research on workers with disability. 2 The paper identifies literature on physical, mental health and intellectual disability. 3 The scoping review identifies management and employer knowledge and support, discrimination and attitudes towards the employment of workers with disabilities, and their performance and employment outcomes.
The main goals of e-government are to increase agency efficiency and offer benefits to citizens. These goals have often been addressed as two interplaying outcomes of public e-service development, which are possible to achieve in parallel. This article shows that the two frequently applied stakeholders of e-government (agencies and citizens) are much too extensive and heterogeneous in order to be meaningfully addressed in public e-service conceptualization and development. We conduct a stakeholder centered analysis of a public e-service development and implementation process in order to identify stakeholder groups and discuss how they differ in their perceptions and, consequently, also in their feelings of relevance and need related to the e-service. By adopting a multi-faceted perspective on stakeholders, public e-service development can be analyzed and understood in a way that takes several stakeholder groups into account. Our study contributes with deeper insights about a situation where stakeholder salience changes over time, while some stakeholder groups have low salience during the entire process. The result of conducting a stakeholder centered analysis is that we, by visualizing the stakeholder groups' differences, are better prepared to meet and combine different needs related to a planned e-service. Thus, we argue that a stakeholder centered analysis of expectations and opinions concerning the e-service help to develop e-services possible to succeed in offering both external service and internal efficiency.
Occupational therapists believe that there is a relationship between occupation, health and well-being but there is little evidence in the occupational therapy literature to support this belief. This paper describes the results of a critical review of research examining the relationship between occupation and health and well-being. Twenty-two studies from the health and social sciences literature were reviewed using specific methodological review criteria. The findings of these studies provide moderate to strong evidence that occupation has an important influence on health and well-being. Because most of this research has been completed with persons without disabilities, further research is required to explain the nature of the relationship between occupation and health and well-being for persons who experience a disability which affects their daily occupations.