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Characteristics of Effective Employment Services: The Consumers' Perspective

Monograph 31

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Originally published: 2001

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This monograph reports on a study investigating the characteristics of effective state service systems. Findings are based on the experiences of individuals with disabilities who have used a state agency (Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Mental Retardation, Department of Mental Health, or One Stop Center) to find employment. Interviews were conducted to examine individuals' experiences with employment services including job search, job entry, strategies that facilitated involvement, supports provided, and barriers experienced. Findings indicated five key components to effective service delivery, including agency culture, consumer-directedness, access to resources, quality personnel, and coordinated services. Obstacles faced during the employment process and personal strategies used to overcome these barriers were also identified. These findings provide information about what job seekers and state systems can do to maximize their experience together. Recommendations for what both parties can do independently and collaboratively to achieve success are offered.