RRTC Newsletter

Mar 2014

New VCU-RRTC on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities Website

VCU-RRTC website

The purpose of the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VCU-RRTC) on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities is to conduct advanced research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities specifically to improve the employment outcomes of individuals with physical disabilities.

The new VCU-RRTC website provides information on training and resources including fact sheets, research briefs, examples of job accommodations, and a research database on topics related to employment of people with physical disabilities. We hope that you find our new site easy to navigate as you explore our content and features. Visit the new VCU-RRTC site

Upcoming Webcast

Anne Hirsh Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the Workplace: Understanding and Implementing Effective Job Accommodations

Presenter: Anne Hirsh, MS

Date & Time: 3/13/2014, 2:00pm ET

Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who want to work have options to consider to enable them to be successful on the job. This session will inform participants on how individuals with MS have been and can be effectively accommodated in the workplace. Specifics on if, how, when, and what to disclose if one needs an accommodation will be discussed. Real-life "situations and solutions" from the Job Accommodation Network's (JAN) follow-up study will be presented. Participants will gain valuable knowledge about the potential low cost and high impact of effective job accommodation.

You may register for a single webcasts or the series. Individuals with disabilities receive access to all of our webcasts at no charge.

Meet the Presenters & Register

Research Brief

Identifying What People with Physical Disabilities Want and Need to Know About Employment

by Katherine Inge, PhD, OTR and Carolyn Graham, PhD

People with disabilities should have access to information that is supported by research demonstrating that a practice or strategy is "evidence-based" and effective in supporting employment outcomes. However, what information do people with physical disabilities need? How can research findings be translated into practical information that they can use in their everyday lives? How should this information be disseminated?

A review of the literature indicates that there is a growing body of knowledge on barriers to employment for people with physical disabilities and the supports needed to promote employment outcomes. However, it is less certain what people with physical disabilities know about these supports and services that can eliminate the barriers and facilitate employment.

Read the Research Brief


Q & A on Employment: Customized Employment for People with Physical Disabilities

VCU-RRTC FactsheetResearch has documented clearly that the employment rate of adults with disabilities is far lower than that of adults without disabilities. The U.S. Department of Labor (2012) reported that in 2011 the employment rate for individuals with disabilities was 17.8% compared to 63.6% without disabilities. Moreover, eight of ten individuals with disabilities were out of the labor force (i.e., not working and not seeking work) compared to three of ten among non-disabled adults. Findings from the American Community Survey show that respondents with disabilities reported a 33.4% employment rate across all disability categories; however, those with ambulatory disabilities reported a 24.3% employment rate, self-care disabilities 16.2%, and independent living 15.8% (Schur et al., 2009). Read this factsheet

Research Studies Overview

The RRTC on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities is examining several clinical interventions and their effect on employment outcomes. Researchers are studying:

  • technology,
  • individual and environmental factors,
  • the effects of government practices policies, and
  • programs and interventions for transition-aged youth and young adults with physical disabilities.

The new knowledge generated from this research will improve employment outcomes of individuals with physical disabilities in the careers of their choice. It will also enhance rehabilitation professionals and other stakeholders' capacity to provide accommodations and opportunities for these individuals.

Find out more about each of the studies & research activities


calendar Webcast Schedule

Mar 13 - (MS) in the Workplace - Anne Hirsh, MS

Apr 10 - Community Re-integration of Vets - Amy Armstrong, PhD, Tommy Waterworth

May 8 - A Measure for Studying Successfully Employed People Who use Wheelchairs - David Gray, PhD, James Krause, PhD

Jun 12 - Self Determination: Past, Present, Future - Michael Wehmeyer, PhD

Jul 10 - Employment Concerns & VR Considerations for People with MS - Phillip Rumrill, PhD

Aug 14 - An Unconfined Life: And the Role of Employment - Nancy Brooks-Lane, Chris Coleman

Sep 11 - Assistive Technology Applications in the Workplace - Tony Gentry

Find out More & Register >>

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Virginia Commonwealth University
1314 West Main Street
P.O. Box 842011
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2011
Email: RRTC@vcu.edu