Assistive Technology Makes Michael Whitten's Job at Planet Fitness Possible!
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Multi-Component Demand-Side Intervention Toolkit or VR Professionals to Improve Employment Outcomes of People with Physical Disabilities: A Randomized Controlled Trial Study
What are Relationships and Social Roles Worth in the Labor Market? Disability and poverty are closely tied, with disability often increasing costs while simultaneously limiting entry to the labor market (Abidi & Sharma, 2014; Hughes, 2013; Winzer & Mazurek, 2015). As of 2016, the poverty rate for people with disabilities was 20.9% compared to 13.1% for people without disabilities (Krause, Lauer, Coleman, & Houtenville, 2018). In light of increasing wage disparities and economic instability, poverty is drawing increased attention of rehabilitation researchers (Tansey, Dutta, Kundu, & Chan, 2016). One question that has not been given enough attention in the rehabilitation literature is whether poverty could be addressed through a better understanding of factors that influence starting wage decisions.
Defining customized employment as an evidence-based practice: The results of a focus group study - Customized employment has generated support at the national, state, and individual participant levels to expand employment for people with significant disabilities. The next step is movement from practitioner-based descriptions to evidenced-based practices that can be consistently replicated. The objective of this qualitative research study was to begin the development of a research-based description that agencies can use to replicate customized employment when supporting individuals with significant disabilities.
Customized Employment as an Evidence-based Practice to Improve the Employment Outcomes of Transition-age Youth with Physical Disabilities - Who is Michael? What are his strengths, interests, and job preferences? When Michael graduated from high school, he began attending a day support program. While he enjoyed the program, he wanted to pursue employment in the community. During an appointment at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Michael learned about a research study on customized employment. Michael expressed his interest, since he enjoys staying busy, wants to feel that he is contributing, and wants a greater sense of purpose to each day. During Discovery, the employment specialist learned more about what Michael is passionate about. Michael discussed how he enjoys interacting with people, and he wanted to work where he could contribute to a business.