Welcome to our new series “Let’s Take a Peek at NIDILRR’s Research Domains”! This series highlights several projects and products within each of NIDILRR’s Research Outcome Domains. For the inaugural publication of this series, we will be looking at NIDILRR’s Employment Outcomes Domain. NIDILRR seeks to improve the employment outcomes for people with disabilities by funding research into the wide spectrum of employment and disability issues, including economics, accommodation, technology, and the work environment.
In 2018, NIDILRR funded 30 projects that look at employment for people with disabilities from different angles. These projects include:
- The project Helping Youth on the Path to Employment (HYPE): Creating Economic Self-Sufficiency is testing a career development program, HYPE, to improve the negative education and employment outcomes of young adults with mental health conditions, minimize the disruptions of post-secondary education, and promote degree completion to drive competitive employment in meaningful careers and financial self-sufficiency. Project outcomes include developing HYPE data and products in preparation for wider implementation, and scale-up testing and adoption. Researchers are also developing a mobile application on accommodations; publishing peer-reviewed publications; and are creating informational tip sheets, webinars, and presentations.
- Researchers at the project Career Self-Management Through Job Crafting for People with Physical and Mild Cognitive Disabilities: A Mixed Study are developing and testing an intervention program to improve job retention and facilitate job growth among people with physical and mild cognitive disabilities through the use of career self-management strategies. The researchers anticipate that the intervention program will improve occupational self-efficacy and work engagement for people with physical and mild cognitive disabilities and create an understanding of how the job crafting approach can be used over the long-term to problem-solve barriers and to seize opportunities for career growth.
The projects within the Employment Outcomes Domain produce peer-reviewed articles, factsheets, videos, guides, and more. Here is a sample of what two of the Employment Outcomes Domain projects have produced:
- The article, Effectiveness of a job search training program for youth with visual impairments, discusses a study that evaluated the effectiveness of adding job search training to a summer work experience program for your with visual disabilities compared to participation only in the summer work experience. The job search program included skill development and motivation enhancement components. The results of the study indicated that the youths that participated in the job search program and summer work experience significantly increased their job search knowledge and behavior in comparison to the group of youths that only attended the summer work experience. The researchers suggest that additional research is needed and that this study provides initial evidence of the effectiveness of the job search program. Published by the project Employment for Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments (2015-2020). This article is available in full text from the project’s website.
- The role of workplace accommodations in the employment of people with disabilities uses data from a recent survey of people with disabilities who applied for vocational rehabilitation services in three states to explore how workplace accommodations assist in reducing employment barriers and improving the employment outcomes of people with disabilities. The results show that at least one third of those surveyed reported employment barriers that could be addressed by workplace accommodations, that receiving certain types of workplace accommodations is positively linked with being employed at the time of the survey, and that people who are in poor health or have physical disabilities were more likely to perceive workplace inaccessibility as a barrier and were less likely to have received accommodations in their current or most recent job. Published by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Individual-Level Characteristics Related to Employment Among Individuals with Disabilities (2012-2016).This article was summarized in our Research In Focus series.
If you would like to learn more about NIDILRR’s Research Outcome Domains, other projects or products within the Employment Outcomes Domain, or would like more information about employment for people with disabilities, please contact NARIC’s information specialists.