The efficacy of a supported employment program model on the employment of individuals with mental handicaps

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Virginia Tech


The effects of the Supported Work Model program components on the job stabilization and the job maintenance (short term and long term employment, respectively) of individuals with mental handicaps were determined using path analysis. The subjects for this study were 295 consumers receiving supported employment (SE) services from 70 service agencies in Virginia placed in individual job settings between September 1, 1987 and July 1, 1989. The data were abstracted from a national SE data bank maintained by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RR TC) of Virginia Commonwealth University. Separate path models were estimated for consumer job stabilization and consumer job maintenance.

Major contributors to job stabilization were on-the-job training and advocacy support. Transportation availability prior to placement and consumer participation in government benefit programs were identified as statistically significant background characteristics which enhanced job stabilization. Other background characteristics had no effects on job stabilization; however, they did influence the amount of training and advocacy support consumers required. Job maintenance was affected by the amount of on-going follow-along support consumers received as well as their employer's support for working with individuals who have handicaps. Background and job site character istics, as well as training/advocacy support, had no effect on job maintenance, but they did influence the amount of follow-along support consumers received.

These results suggest that the Supported Work Model is a good framework for providing services for individuals with mental handicaps. Service providers can improve consumer employment success by making consumer transportation arrangements prior to placement and by placing consumers with employers who are supportive of individuals with handicaps.