Reports

Agency Decision-Making Control and Employment Outcomes by Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Publication Year: 2013

Introduction: We hypothesized that consumers who are blind or visually impaired (that is, those who have low vision) who were served by state vocational rehabilitation agencies with decision-making control over administrative functions would experience better vocational rehabilitation outcomes than consumers served by vocational rehabilitation agencies with less control in these areas. Methods: We merged person-level RSA-911 (fiscal year 2010) data with agency-level data collected as part of the National Survey of State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, which we conducted in 2011. We employed multilevel modeling, controlling for select person-level characteristics, and agency-level indicators of primary decision-making control by vocational rehabilitation agencies in six key administrative functions: human resources, infrastructure, management information systems, policies and procedures, program evaluation, and purchasing. Dependent variables were measures of "any employment" and "competitive employment" outcomes. Results: We report a positive association between agency decision-making control over policies and procedures and competitive employment outcomes by consumers who were blind (odds ratio = 2.64; 95% confidence interval 1.23-5. 72). Among consumers who are visually impaired, agency decision-making control over human resources was negatively associated with any employment closures (odds ratio = 0.56; 95% confidence interval = 0.36-0.93) and competitive employment outcomes (odds ratio = 0.56; 95% confidence interval = 0.33-0.97). Discussion: Results demonstrate the potential for factors related to agencies, in addition to factors related to individuals, to function as mediators of vocational rehabilitation outcomes for consumers who are blind or visually impaired. Implications for practitioners: Findings highlight the importance of understanding how management control over areas such as policy and procedures have the potential to influence service delivery and subsequent employment outcomes.

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Focused Investment of Financial Resources and Management Approaches: Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services Case Study

The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) has been operating under an Order of Selection (OOS) policy since the late 1980s. The DORS has faced multiple issues related to federal distributions of vocational rehabilitation (VR) funds, state financial support, and increasing cost of services and demands for services. To address these problems, the agency has focused on serving individuals with the most significant disabilities (MSD) and significant disabilities (SD).

Using Projections to Maximize Fiscal Resources: West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services Case Study

The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (WVDRS) went into Order of Selection (OOS) in 1985, establishing four categories to prioritize rehabilitation services to individuals with more significant disabilities. Up until 2006, the agency had been able to serve customers in the first three OOS categories. In 2006, due to overextended financial resources, a waitlist was implemented, and for one year, no new customers were served.

Comprehensive Response to Insufficient Funds, and How the Agency Went Into and Came Out of an Order of Selection: Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Case Study

In Fiscal Year 2001, the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) did not have adequate funds to serve all eligible customers, and was required to implement an Order of Selection (OOS) policy.

Case Studies of Emerging State VR Agency Practices for Managing Outreach, Service Access, and Case Flow to Serve Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities on a Priority Basis

VR-RRTC researchers conducted case-study research to identify: how state VR agencies effectively manage outreach, service access, and case flow to ensure that individuals with MSD are served on priority basis; what practices they use, and what evidence exists for their effectiveness; and how to make them easily transferable to other states given the variation in how states are organized.

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A Rural Model of Collaboration between a Vocational Rehabilitation Area Office and a Community Rehabilitation Provider: New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Case Study

The VR-RRTC partnered with a national group of content experts to identify potential promising VR employment practices serving people with psychiatric disabilities. These case studies were designed to identify some creative and collaborative ways that VR agencies could develop improved strategies to improve employment outcomes for their clients using this most current knowledge efficiently and effectively.

Vocational Rehabilitation- Mental Health Partnership: Coordinating Supported Employment Services Across State Agencies - Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Case Study

The VR-RRTC partnered with a national group of content experts to identify potential promising VR employment practices serving people with psychiatric disabilities. These case studies were designed to identify some creative and collaborative ways that VR agencies could develop improved strategies to improve employment outcomes for their clients using this most current knowledge efficiently and effectively.

Aligning Agency Policies and Procedures through Systems Integration: Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services Case Study

The VR-RRTC partnered with a national group of content experts to identify potential promising VR employment practices serving people with psychiatric disabilities. These case studies were designed to identify some creative and collaborative ways that VR agencies could develop improved strategies to improve employment outcomes for their clients using this most current knowledge efficiently and effectively.

An Evolving Partnership: Aligning Agency Missions and Integrating New Technologies to Streamline Agency Processes - Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Case Study

The VR-RRTC partnered with a national group of content experts to identify potential promising VR employment practices serving people with psychiatric disabilities. These case studies were designed to identify some creative and collaborative ways that VR agencies could develop improved strategies to improve employment outcomes for their clients using this most current knowledge efficiently and effectively.

Creating a Sustainable Partnership: Utilizing a Medicaid Billing Code as a Stable Source of Funding for Supported Employment Services - Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services Case Study

The VR-RRTC partnered with a national group of content experts to identify potential promising VR employment practices serving people with psychiatric disabilities. These case studies were designed to identify some creative and collaborative ways that VR agencies could develop improved strategies to improve employment outcomes for their clients using this most current knowledge efficiently and effectively.