Research Study Four (RS4)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Multi-Component Demand-Side Intervention Toolkit for VR Professionals to Improve Employment Outcomes of People with Physical Disabilities: A Randomized Controlled Trial Study
Study Team Leader(s):
Dr. Fong Chan
The purpose of this research is to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-component demand-side employment intervention toolkit that can be used by vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals to improve the employment outcomes of people with physical disabilities.
- What is the effect of SPR/nAblement employer consultation (cultures of disability, ADA/job accommodation, and financial incentives) training on employers' attitudes toward hiring and retaining people with disabilities?
- What is the effect of the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) workplace socialization skills training on empathic self-efficacy and social self-efficacy of people with physical disabilities?
- What is the effect of NIDILRR Small Business Innovative Research Grant (SBIR) impression management job interview skills training on job interview outcomes of people with physical disabilities?
- What would be the usefulness and acceptability of a demand-side toolkit incorporating these three components for VR Counselors and consumers?
Although there are several publications and technical reports on demand-side employment and job placement, there is a paucity of scientifically validated intervention toolkits that can be used by VR professionals to effectively work with employers and people with physical disabilities to improve their employment opportunities and career development. This study will consist of three randomized clinical trials that will develop and validate the components of a demand-side intervention toolkit, which will then lead to pilot-testing of the full toolkit by VR Counselors. In this study, "employer" is used as a broad term for human resources professionals, HR managers, and project managers with hiring authority. The toolkit will compose of three components: (1) SPR/nAblement employer consultation (cultures of disability, ADA/job accommodation, and financial incentives), (2) ODEP workplace socialization skills training for people with physical disabilities, and (3) the NIDILRR SBIR impression management job interview training for people with physical disabilities.
In Year 1, researchers will conduct a systematic review of the literature on diversity training and demand-side employment. In addition, a comprehensive focus group study will be conducted with employers who had hired people with physical disabilities. The information gleaned from the comprehensive literature review, focus group study will be used to refine the demand-side employment intervention toolkit. In Year 2, researchers will evaluate the SPR/nAblement employer consultation component of the toolkit by using the Forerunners and the Facts are Stubborn Things videos and SPR/nAblement's culture of disability training materials as the foundations and validate this component with a sample of employers. In Year 3, researchers will validate ODEP's "Skills to Pay the Bills" curriculum as the foundation and validate this soft skills training component of the toolkit for use with people with physical disabilities. . In Year 4 and Year 5, research will completed on the development of the entire toolkit and pilot-testing will be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the multi-component demand-side intervention toolkit with a sample of VR professionals from state VR agencies.
Expected Outcomes and Benefits:
The toolkit will help VR professionals: (1) change employer practice with people with disabilities and (2) prepare people with physical disabilities to meet the demands of employers.
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