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Research to Practice No. 6, September 2012Research to Practice No. 6, Sept 2012
Identifying Effective Components of a Collaborative Career Planning Model for Individuals with ASD in Postsecondary Education
By: Elizabeth Evans Getzel and Lori Briel

The purpose of this project is to identify the effective components of a collaborative career planning model based on the input of college students with ASD, vocational rehabilitation counselors, Disability Support Service providers in 2 and 4 year colleges and universities, and postsecondary education career center staff. The study focuses on three research questions: 1) What are the experiences of college students with ASD concerning the accommodations, services and supports they received? 2) To what extent are state vocational rehabilitation agencies involved in providing services and supports to students with ASD in postsecondary educational settings? 3) What are the levels of knowledge and self-reported training needs of vocational rehabilitation counselors and postsecondary support personnel regarding career planning support and preparation of college students with ASD? This brief will highlight some of the results from structured interviews with 18 college students on the autism spectrum concerning the accommodations, services and supports they received in higher education. Study participants attended community colleges and/or state universities in Virginia and ranged from freshmen through graduate school. Emerging themes will be described based on the students' knowledge of, and participation in career related services and supports. Read the Research to Practice Brief No. 6 (PDF)

Research to Practice No. 5, September 2012Research to Practice No. 5, Sept 2012
Developing Model Programs for Supporting Individuals with ASD in Public VR Program through Knowledge Translation of Evidenced-Based Research
By: Joseph Ashley, Richard Kriner, Jessica Stehle & Sherrina Sewell

The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is piloting new autism projects, modeled after two National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) funded VCU ASD Career Links research studies. These pilot models, which incorporate critical program components and employment supports, currently are being applied in four field office areas across two regions of the Commonwealth, as well as at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, one of eight state-operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers in the nation. These supports include hand-held technology support strategies identified through the Assistive Technology for Cognition Study (ATCS), and positive behavioral support (PBS) services found in a highly successful autism focused Project SEARCH replication study. Read the Research to Practice Brief No. 5 (PDF)

Research to Practice No. 4, February 2012Research to Practice No. 4, February 2012
Project SEARCH Case Studies
By: Alissa Molinelli, Jennifer McDonough, and Paul Wehman

In January of 2009, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) contacted Bon Secours to determine their interest in collaborating on a research study funded through the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The CEO, Mr. Peter Bernard was very interested and set up a meeting between VCU and the Bon Secours leadership team. VCU brought in Erin Riehle from Cincinnati Children's Hospital to share the Project SEARCH model with Bon Secours. VCU proposed establishing a Project SEARCH research site for students with ASD at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital. Before we left that meeting, Bon Secours had agreed to host the Project SEARCH site. Read the Research to Practice Brief No. 4 (PDF)

Research to Practice No. 3, January 2012Research to Practice No. 3, January 2012
Examing Employment Impacts of Vocational Rehabilitation Service Provision for Persons with Autism Sepctrum Disorder
By: David Dean University of Richmond

This project seeks to identify the efficacy of a specific mix of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services on the short and long-term employment-related outcomes for persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while controlling for the receipt of federal disability benefits. There are three components that need to be measured to identify VR impacts for persons with ASD. The specific mix of VR services is aggregated from a veritable "laundry list" of services purchased and/or provided by a VR agency to augment an individual's labor force attachment (e.g., resume writing, job placement) and/or their human capital development (e.g., job training, post-secondary education). The proposed vocational outcomes examined are the employment probability for a given period of time and the level of earnings during that period. The federal disability benefits are Disability Insurance (DI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Read the Research to Practice Brief No. 3 (PDF)

Research to Practice No.2, November 2011Research to Practice No. 2, November 2011
Facilitating Employment for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
By: Tony Gentry and Jennifer McDonough

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can offer unique talents and gifts to work and community environments. Most individuals with ASD want to become productive members of society, and society stands to benefit from their full community inclusion. As students with ASD transition from school to adulthood, selecting career paths are one of the critical choices that they must make. In addition, community rehabilitation service providers must identify strategies and supports to assist them in participating in the workforce. However, the primary and secondary characteristics of an ASD may present some distinctive and unique challenges for successful competitive employment. While each individual with ASD may present different behaviors and characteristics, there are supports that providers can provide to ameliorate behavioral challenges that often limit access to the community and work. This brief will provide suggestions on how to address these issues. Read the Research to Practice Brief No. 2 (PDF)

Research to Practice No. 1, August 2011Research to Practice No. 1, August 2011
Could an Ipod Touch be the key to successful employment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder?
By: Tony Gentry and Jennifer McDonough

People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) face many obstacles when transitioning from school to full or part-time employment. They often need support with time management, interacting with co-workers, and managing complex task sequences. They may have difficulty performing scheduled activities, such as taking medications or getting to work on time. In addition, some individuals may have behavioral challenges that can limit access to integrated employment opportunities. Finding and keeping employment under these circumstances is a challenge. However, research is being done to identify ways to facilitate employment for this group of individuals. Read the Research to Practice Brief No. 1 (PDF)


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VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports and Job Retention
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University |
This project is funded by the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) grant #H133B080027 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center
1314 West Main Street | P.O. Box 842011 | Richmond, Virginia 23284-2011
Phone: (804) 828-1851 | TTY: (804) 828-2494 | Fax: (804) 828-2193
Last updated: 12/21/2014