The Research and Training Center on Community Living: Vocational Rehabilitation Study

We examined data from 50,729 individuals with disability extracted from the virtual case management database from the state of Illinois Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The data covered a period of 6 years (January, 2004 through June, 2010) and was analyzed to assess predictors of employment success. The impact of individual demographic characteristics, type of living arrangement, nature of individual’s impairments and type of VR services was assessed on three indicators of employment success – getting employed, hourly wages, and hours worked per week. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations between employment outcomes and the above listed predictors. Significant differences were found among living arrangements in terms of gender, education, age, race/ethnic group, impairment type, and number of impairments.

With regards to employment, clients in facilities and institutions presented marginally lower odds for being employed compared to clients living in private residences. Additionally, these individuals were 30% less likely to work the average number of hours than individuals residing in private homes. Compared to individuals living in private residences, those residing in community residential/group homes had similar odds of getting employed but had decreased odds (47% lower) of earning higher than average wage and working higher than average hours per week (63% lower). Further, Individuals who are minorities, have less education, and more number of impairments have lower odds of been employed and other economic outcomes. Individuals with sensory disabilities had better odds of getting employed, better wages, and worked more hours per week than individuals with other types of impairments. Finally, certain types of VR services increased the odds of employment greatly including On the Job Supports, Job Placement Assistance, and Rehabilitation/Technical Assistance & Job Development.

For more information on this project, visit the Research and Training Center on Community Living website.