Vocational Rehabilitation Practices that Improve Employment Outcomes

Rehabilitation professionals working in the state-federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) system provide services they believe will best help people with disabilities find and keep quality employment.  Often, their belief that the services they provide will help their consumers is based on personal experience, guidance from more experienced service providers, or directives from their agency.

Scientific Data Backs Effectiveness of Services

Now vocational rehabilitation professionals don’t have to rely solely on experience and word of mouth to decide which services will help people with disabilities meet their employment goals. After extensive study, a group of national experts provided scientific data showing that 26 services provided by state-federal VR agencies are either promising or evidence-based.

Vocational rehabilitation practitioners can provide these services knowing they help improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. These services are:

  • Transition Services
  • Assistive Technology
  • Individual Placement and Support Model of Supported Employment (IPS)
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Demand Side Employment Strategies
  • Benefits Counseling
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Customized Employment
  • Community Based Work Program (Adults)
  • Working Alliance
  • Person Centered Planning (PCP)
  • Soft Skills Training
  • Dual Customer Approach
  • Job Club
  • Family Involvement & Support
  • Social Skills Training
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
  • Positive Psychology Interventions
  • Project Search
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
  • Health Promotion Interventions
  • Person Centered Therapy
  • Online Community of Practice for VR Counselors
  • Social Media
  • Tele-Health/Tele-Rehabilitation

Counselor-Consumer Relationship is Critical

The researchers who conducted this study noted that although these services are backed by strong scientific evidence, the relationship between the counselor and consumer is critical to successful outcomes for consumers.  As Wamplod (2001) said:

“What really makes a difference is not which treatment is delivered, but the skill with which the treatment is provided. You can’t deliver some magic ingredient that is going to make patients better. What makes a difference is how skilled the therapist is and the collaborative process of client and therapist working together” (2015, Para.11).

Learn More

You can learn more about this study, and promising and evidence-based practices in VR, using these resources:

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