RehabWire Volume 1 Number 3, April 1999

Welcome to the third edition of RehabWire. April’s issue is all about work. In this issue of RehabWire you’ll find research and articles about vocational rehabilitation, school-to-work transition, and occupational therapy. So let’s get to work!

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millennium.

Testing the Effectiveness of School-to-Work Transition Services for Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances, Matrix Research Institute (H133G80084), Laura Blankertz.
Abstract: This project improves school-to-work transition services by comparing an experimental and a comparison group on a variety of economic and non-economic outcomes. Several agencies and departments provide interventions through each of three clearly delineated stages: (1) identification and engagement of youth leaving school, (2) implementation of services, and (3) development of individual supports to maintain youth in post-transition activities. The seven economic and non-economic factors compared include: use of mental health and vocational rehabilitation services, types of employment, length of employment, wages earned, self-esteem, empowerment and community involvement, and criminal activity.

TECH CONNECTIONS: Improving the Utilization of Existing and Emerging Rehabilitation Technology in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program, United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. (H133A980052), Karen F. Flippo.
Abstract: TECH CONNECTIONS facilitates the use of rehabilitation technology in state vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs. This customer-responsive, customer-driven training, technical assistance, and dissemination project features: (1) a multifaceted approach to training; (2) regional “Train-the-Trainer” forums, topic-specific audio conferences, and satellite video training; (3) individualized technical assistance and information about the assistive technology for rehabilitation professionals and for their customers with disabilities; and (4) broad-based outreach and dissemination to people who provide assistive technology. United Cerebral Palsy Association works in collaboration with the Center for Rehabilitation Technology and the Southeast Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center.
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Functional Assessment in Rehabilitation Software Conversion (FAIR/SC), Jewish Employment and Vocational Service (H133G80099), Howard Dansky.
Abstract: This project develops, field tests, and produces an innovative computer-based software system to improve the effectiveness of employment programs for people with cognitive disabilities. This new software uses new vocational assessment technology developed and tested over a three-year period.

People workingEnhancing Consumer-Counselor Working Relationships in Rehabilitation: An Empirical Research Investigation of Counselor Expectancies and Working Alliance as Variables for Optimizing Consumer-Counselor Relationships, Consumer Satisfaction, and Rehabilitation Outcomes, Virginia Commonwealth University (H133G80135), Brian McMahon, PhD.
Abstract: This project brings the concept of “consumer involvement” to a place beyond the level of good intentions, rhetoric, platitude, and legal mandate; it provides practical tools with which relevant constructs can be measured and changed to build meaningful partnerships. Maximizing the involvement of consumers in the vocational rehabilitation (VR) process in a meaningful manner can be accomplished if the working alliance between counselor and consumer is strengthened in a direct and measurable way. The target audience includes clients with severe disabilities of the state-federal VR program and the counselors who are employed to provide them with services.

Visit these Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers:

May and October are popular months for national events! Visit the National Health Information Center calendar of national observances at

New Research: From the NIDRR Projects

Crudden, A., McBroom, L. W., Skinner, A. L., Moore, J. E. (1998) Comprehensive Examination Of Barriers To Employment Among Persons Who Are Blind Or Visually Impaired. RRTC on Blindness and Low Vision (RTC-BLV) Mississippi State University (MSU).Accession Number: O12608
Abstract: Report on barriers to employment for persons with visual impairments based on responses to a mail survey of employed persons who are blind or visually impaired. A literature review examines research on barriers to employment from the perspectives of rehabilitation service providers, consumers, and employers, and in relation to sociodemographic, policy, and technology issues.

Wehman, P., Revell, G., Kregel, J. (1998) Supported Employment: A Decade Of Rapid Growth And Impact. American Rehabilitation, 24(1), 31-43. RRTC on Improving Supported Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Developmental and Other Severe Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University. Accession Number: J35583
Abstract: Article reporting results of a national survey of state vocational rehabilitation systems regarding supported employment programs. Statistical data on population, agencies, expenditures, and funding were collected from Fifty-four state/territorial systems Key findings are discussed along with implications for the continuing development of supported employment.

Izzo, M. V. (1999) The Effects Of Transition Services On Outcome Measures Of Employment For Vocational Students With Disabilities: Final Report. Nisonger Center Ohio State University. Accession Number: O12992
Abstract: Study of the effects of transition services delivered to youth with disabilities enrolled in a secondary vocational school program from 1990-1993. Participants were youth with disabilities nominated by staff because they were judged at risk for not obtaining or maintaining employment. A pretest-posttest control group design was used, with 62 students in the experimental group receiving transition services beyond graduation, while 36 students were placed in the control group. Earnings, hours of employment, and benefits for the two groups were compared along with the relation of these outcome measures to transition service predictors.

Newsflash!Did You Know...?

... April is Occupational Therapy Month. Contact the American Occupational Therapy Association for events, resources, and information on the month-long celebration and their annual conference. Visit or call 1-800-668-8255.


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.

What is the difference between Occupational Therapy and Vocational Rehabilitiation? The difference lies in the level of services provided:

Scope Notes: Specially designed therapeutic activities, including therapeutic exercise or sensorimotor training, intended to improve functional skills for work, daily living, and vocational activities
Broad Term: THERAPY

Scope Notes: Provision of coordinated services appropriate to the needs of persons with disabilities, and designed to achieve objectives directed toward the realization of the individuals' maximum vocational potentials; use only for the vocational rehabilitation process in general, otherwise use more particular terms such as COUNSELING, EVALUATION, or PLACEMENT

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