RehabWire Volume 1 Number 9, October 1999

PCEPD has declared October National Disability Employment Awareness Month. RehabWire for this month highlights new employment-related documents, projects, and resources.

Please note: Time-sensitive events have been removed from this version. Monthly and weekly observances remain.

New Research: Selections from REHABDATA.

Wallace, C. J., Tauber, R., Wilde, J. (1999) Teaching fundamental workplace skills to persons with serious mental illness (Rehab Rounds). Psychiatric Services, 50(90), p1147-1149,1153. Accession Number: J37304.
Abstract: Article discusses new legislation, public policies, and rehabilitation methods which show promise to substantially increase competitive employment options for individuals with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disabilities. Topics discussed include the increased awareness of protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security Administration policy revisions, and supported employment options available through vocational rehabilitation.

Anthony, W. A., Brown, M. A., Rogers, E. S., Derringer, S. (1999) A supported living/supported employment program for reducing the number of people in institutions. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 23(1), 57-61. Accession Number: J37377.
Abstract: Follow-up study investigating the program cost and community functioning of individuals with psychiatric disabilities discharged from a state hospital to a supported living/supported employment program. Results indicate that most gains were maintained, hospitalization rates remained low, and costs were lower than for the first year of transition into the community.

Eberhard, S. (1999) Enhancing parental power and flexibility in the transition from welfare to work. Work, 13(1), 21-30. Accession Number: J37398.
Abstract: Article on implications for rehabilitation professionals of welfare reform, particularly as it affects families that have parents or other members with disabilities. The article summarizes recent welfare reform changes in the United States, and presents results of a study of the effects of welfare reform conducted in Wisconsin after the statewide implementation of work mandates for welfare recipients. Presents a service delivery model aimed at enhancing parental power and flexibility, which were found in the Wisconsin study to promote successful welfare-to-work transitions.

Reed, C. A. (1999) Women with disabilities making the transition back to work: Psychosocial barriers and interventions. Work, 13(1), 67-72. Accession Number: J37403.
Abstract: Article about the psychosocial needs of women with disabilities in relation to employment reentry, and how vocational and career development programs can respond to these needs. Discusses psychosocial barriers including social isolation, sociocultural stereotypes, perceived lack of self-efficacy, role perceptions, and loss of perceived personal control. Identifies career development strategies that can be used by service providers.

Conroy, L., and McKenna, K. (1999) Vocational outcome following spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 37(9), 624-633. Accession Number: J37465.
Abstract: Study of variables affecting employment outcome following spinal cord injury (SCI), including variables affecting the type of work engaged in, and barriers to gaining and retaining employment.

Butterworth, J, and Fesko, S. L. (1999) The successes and struggles of closing a facility-based employment service. Research to Practice, 5(1), 1-4. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Promoting Placement, Children's Hospital, Training and Research Institute for People with Disabilities. Accession Number: O13224.
Abstract: Article presenting preliminary findings from a study of 10 community rehabilitation providers: Six that successfully closed facility-based employment programs between 1989 and 1994, and 4 that are currently changing their programs. Presents successful approaches to closing programs, sources of change and the leadership for change, and characteristics of organizations that were successful in changing their programs. Concludes with recommendations for organizations and for external stakeholders.

Defining Disability: Updating the REHABDATA Thesaurus

The REHABDATA Thesaurus is a key instrument in indexing the materials in the NARIC collection. The Thesaurus is a constantly evolving document which is modified and updated on a regular basis. Each month we look at a term, how it’s defined, and how it’s used in indexing rehabilitation and disability literature.

Something to consider when discussing employment. There are many issues related to employment, especially in the context of disability. Following is the Thesaurus entry for Employment:

[SN: Occupation or provision of a job]
Antonym: Unemployment
Narrower terms: Competitive employment; Counselor employment; Private sector employment; Self employment; Supported employment; Underemployment; Work hardening; Work study programs
Related terms: Accommodation; Affirmative action; Careers; Disincentives; Employability; Employee assistance programs; Employee productivity; Employer attitudes; Employers; Employment costs; Employment economics; Employment legislation; Employment programs; Employment reentry; Employment success; Hiring practices; Incentives; Income; Job analysis; Job descriptions; Job development; Job modification; Job satisfaction; Job search; Job training techniques; Manpower; Migrants; Older workers; Placement; Post employment; Retirement; Retraining; Sheltered workshops; Taxes; Time management; Unions; Vocational education; Vocational evaluation; Vocational training; Work adjustment; Work attitudes; Work environment; Work performance; Work samples; Work stations; Workers compensation
Use for: Disabled job seekers; Jobs; Work

An educational resource packet is available for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Visit PCEPD at

Silouhettes of people working.

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millenium

Schedule Assistant: A Portable Visual/Audio Prompting System for Enhancing Independence and Self-Determination in Personal Scheduling and Time Management for Individuals with Mental Retardation, AbleLink Technologies (ED-99-PO-4884) led by Daniel Davies. Robert J. Jaeger, PhD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project demonstrates the application of a portable device designed to increase independence and self-determination in time management for individuals with mental retardation. The Schedule Assistant system helps the user maintain a schedule and perform time-sensitive vocational tasks using visual and audio cues.
Find out more at:

Using Virtual Reality to Improve Self-Determination, Self-Esteem, and Interaction Skills in Minimizing Barriers to Education and Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, NBLC, Inc. (ED-99-PO-4695) led by Charles Lovett. Robert J. Jaeger, PhD, Project Officer.
Abstract: Virtual Reality can be used as an innovative technology to improve self-determination, self-esteem, and positive interaction skills to minimize barriers to education and employment for people with disabilities. VR Workstations can be used with individuals with disabilities for training in self-determination, self-esteem, and positive interaction skills, and allow them to transition to the workplace.

E*, Golden Ventures (ED-99-PO-4698) led by Dawn Golden. Robert J. Jaeger, PhD, Project Officer.
Abstract: E* is a project to develop an Internet-based job opportunity network and support web site for people with disabilities. The web site includes three main areas: employment, reference materials, and avenues for social support. The job database, resume posting, and interviewing forums focus on the category of jobs that can be performed from a remote location. The reference area allows the user to search through products and services. Users may also post their products or services for sale. The social support area provides opportunities for discussion through chat rooms and pen pal mail, delivery of special video training or cultural events, classified ad postings, and entertainment.
Find out more at:

Comparison of Two Employment Models for Consumers with Severe Mental Illness, The Thresholds (H133G90155) led by Taffy (M.L.) McCoy, PhD. Roseanne Rafferty, Project Officer.
Abstract: The project compares supported employment with well-established, comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation approaches. It also investigates interactions between consumer characteristics and employment approaches, towards an understanding of the best vocational rehabilitation strategies for people of color, especially people from the African American community. This study compares the effectiveness of two important, popular employment models for persons with Severe Mental Illness (SMI).

Comparative Study of Disability Nondiscrimination Law and Alternative Means of Implementation and Enforcement (H133F990006) led by Stanley S. Herr, JD, DPhil. Ellen Blasiotti, Project Officer.
Abstract: This study examines implementation and enforcement strategies that heighten compliance with disability nondiscrimination laws in the United States and Israel. The primary goal of the project is to identify and analyze some of the alternative mechanisms under national laws to resolve complaints of discrimination in employment, public accommodation, and local government services, including negotiation, mediation, self-evaluation plans, administrative adjudication, litigation, and the roles of national commissions and ombudsmen.

Impact of Training and Support Strategies on Employment Outcomes for Persons with Disabilities from Minority Backgrounds (H133F990055) led by Diane Liebert Espinola, PhD. Ellen Blasiotti, Project Officer.
Abstract: This study determines the impact of training and support strategies on the employment outcomes of participants with disabilities from minority and low income backgrounds, with a focus on those with severe disabilities. Stragegies include: the Intensive Support Program (ISP), vocational training in eight occupations for those with severe disabilities, and Work Opportunities for Women (WOW), a federally funded model demonstration project for women with severe disabilities from minority backgrounds.

Working It Out Together: Women with Disabilities and Employment, Children's Hospital (H133A990019) led by Judith Palfrey, MD and Susan Foley, PhD. Ruth Brannon, Project Officer.
Abstract: This study explores the experience of working women with disabilities to find out what workplace supports have been the most beneficial, what obstacles remain, and how peer support and mentoring fit into the basket of supports. This project provides a national picture of women with disabilities' use of income supports, public services, and employment outcomes. It also provides the perspective of 200 working women with disabilities about what workplace supports have been most beneficial and what needs remain.
Find out more at:

School is over, time to get a job!