Joe Marrone

Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies Helping People With Psychiatric Disabilities Get Employed: How Far Have We Come? How Far Do We Have to Go?

Publication Year: 2013

Case Studies of Promising Practices in Vocational Rehabilitation

The Vocational Rehabilitation Research and Training Center ( based at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston partnered with national content experts to identify promising VR employment practices serving people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the funding agency, requested an emphasis on identifying promising practices for people with mental illnesses and people with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities, and to identify promising practices related to order of selection and the designation of most significant disability. This report provides a summary of four promising VR employment practices for persons with IDD. The study included a nationwide call for nominations through extensive outreach using a variety of channels and venues, including (but not limited to) direct contact with VR agencies, Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Centers, the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), and NIDRR. The VR RRTC formed a Delphi expert panel to review and rate all nominated practices using a systematic, multi-step procedure to evaluate nominations.

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Vocational Rehabilitation and Mental Health Employment Services: True Love or Marriage of Convenience?

Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 40 (2014) 149–154  (by Joe Marrone, Robert Burns, and Stephaine Taylor)

There is a deep research base in the employment and mental health (MH) field that has supported the development of effective strategies for people with significant psychiatric disabilities. However, overall employment outcomes for people with serious mental illness have not increased significantly. This is true even with the recent emphases on recovery and system change or transformation. While employment continues to be stated as one of the cornerstones of recovery within mentalhealth, vocational rehabilitation (VR) remains a crucial resource through interagency partnerships, funding, training, and policy development. The Institute for Community Inclusion's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Vocational Rehabilitation (ICI VR-RRTC) did case studies with state VR agencies examining innovations in these areas. This article describes three VR agencies in particular (Delaware, Maryland, Oregon) that served in many ways as excellent exemplars of using the multiple resources, skills, and services models that produced better employment results. It describes each state's specific partnership strategies, then concludes with findings from each as well as an overall analysis of key issues that should be applicable more generally vis-á-vis VR-MH collaboration on employment interventions. 

Description of Supported Employment Practices, Partnerships, and Funding Models of Four Types of State Agencies and Community Rehabilitation Providers

This Supported Employment (SE) research focuses on vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency partnerships with other state entities, and sources and models for long-term funding (extended services). The design called for embedding supported employment questions in ongoing surveys of multiple state agencies and case studies of SE coordination and funding models in several states to illuminate issues identified through these surveys.

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