How Do Vocational Rehabilitation Outcomes Vary among Different Types of Living Arrangements?


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Study Purpose: Why It Matters

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) for people with disabilities provides them with access to employment, playing a vital role in maintaining an individual’s independence and participation in the community.

Current evidence on how effective VR services are for people in various types of living arrangements does not exist. This study examined the relationship between employment outcomes for people with disabilities and their type of living arrangement.

With this new data, we may find ways to improve the outcomes of VR for people living in all types of arrangements.

Where We Looked: The Data

The data were extracted from the virtual case management dataset of a Midwestern state (Illinois) VR agency that included 50,729 clients referred to the agency between January 2004 and June 2010. Of these clients, 46,456 had information appropriate for the analysis. We considered these categories of living arrangement for people with disabilities in VR:

1. Private residence
2. Community group home
3. Facility/institution: Including rehabilitation facility, mental health facility, substance abuse treatment facility and nursing home
4. Other: Including adult correctional facility, halfway house, homeless shelter and other

What We Learned

The findings indicated that types of living arrangements are associated with rehabilitation status, hourly wage and hours worked per week.

As compared to clients living in a private residence, clients living in community group homes tend to have a lower chance of getting an hourly wage at an average rate or higher. They also have a lower chance of working during the week for a number of hours considered average or higher among all clients. The clients in community group homes, however, are not significantly different from those in private residences in terms of rehabilitation status.

Clients who reside in a facility/institution are less likely to get vocationally rehabilitated (to be successfully employed) compared to clients in a private residence. In addition, the former group is less likely to work each week for an average number of hours or higher.
Clients who come from correctional/ homeless shelters and any other type of living arrangement have a higher likelihood of vocational rehabilitation and are more likely to have worked at average hours or higher per week when they are contrasted to those from a private residence.

Yet these clients are less likely to receive an hourly wage that falls within the average rate or higher as compared to the clients in the private residence group.

Project Investigators At the University of Illinois at Chicago

Fabricio E. Balcazar, PhD, Principal Investigator
Ashmeet Oberoi, MSc, MA
Sean Cariño, MPH
F. L. Fredrik G. Langi

The Research and Training Center on Community Living is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, award number H133B060018.