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Vocational Rehabilitation Outcomes for People with Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy, and Epilepsy: An Analysis of Trends from 1985-1998

Monograph 29

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Originally published: 2001

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Abstract

This monograph presents the results of secondary analysis of the RSA-911 database from the Rehabilitation Services Administration. All successful VR closures for individuals with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy for six data points between 1985 and 1998 were investigated. Trends in competitive labor market and extended employment (sheltered workshops) closures were examined. The use of supported employment in the VR system and its outcomes were also discussed. Findings include increased incidence of competitive labor market closures and supported employment services, with a decrease in extended employment closures.

Comparisons of successful VR closure outcomes to trends in the general labor market were also made. A significant inverse correlation between VR competitive labor market closure rates and national unemployment rates suggests that VR closures rise and decline with the performance of the general economy. The data also indicated a decrease in real (inflation adjusted) earnings at closure of 43% over the study time period. While there was also a decrease in real earnings for the general population, the decrease was more severe for VR closures.