Practice[dropcap type=”3″]V[/dropcap]ocational rehabilitation is based on the belief that work is fundamental to the physical and psychological well-being of people with and without disabilities. People who are employed experience less depression and anxiety, use alcohol less, and report higher self-esteem and quality of life.
Recent research reveals that although state and federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals advocate for work as a basic human right of people with disabilities, and to place people with disabilities in jobs at the highest level possible, the following statistics persist:
- The employment rate of people with disabilities is 18% compared to 63.9% for people without disabilities
- The average hourly earnings of all VR customers in competitive employment are only 52% of the general workforce.
- The employment rate of 56% after receiving VR services has not changed significantly for several decades.
- The level and quality of services delivered by state and federal VR agencies vary substantially when measured by employment rates, characteristics of individuals served, frequency of providing services, and case expenditures.
Fong et al. (2010) define evidence-based practice as “a clinical decision-making process beginning with formulating clinical questions to ask, determining the best practice, and critically appraising the evidence for validity and applicability to the particular situation.”
A primary goal of this RRTC is to translate research findings into field practice. To do this, we will provide practitioners with resources and tools related to evidence-based, effective VR service delivery practices, in order to improve the employment rates and quality of employment outcomes of people with disabilities who receive VR services from state and federal agencies.