Vocational Rehabilitation Services Research

InfoUse has extensive experience in conducting evaluations and field studies of the Federal-State vocational rehabilitation system.

Currently the Post-Vocational Rehabilitation Experiences Study, a five year longitudinal study of 8000 VR consumers who exited the program with or without employment outcomes, is being conducted by Westat and subcontractor InfoUse. In this study, InfoUse has had major responsibility for the study conceptual framework and design, and survey questions. Previous InfoUse experience with longitudinal studies of VR include both the first longitudinal study and the development of the study design for the second longitudinal study, both with Research Triangle Institute.

In 2005, InfoUse conducted a study for RSA entitled Measurement of Key Variables Related to Performance in State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, identifying assessment tools or other means to measure organizational leadership, communication, use of performance data, automated case management systems and focus of resources on front-line services. This document, produced for the RSA evaluation office, serves as a resource for RSA technical assistance and monitoring officers.

Other RSA studies include:

  • Developing collaboration between collaboration between state VR agencies and Independent Living Centers. As part of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, InfoUse conducted a mail survey of VR agencies, State Independent Living Councils, and Independent Living Centers on collaboration on employment services. Results were published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, and presented in training programs for national conferences, VR agencies, and ILCs. (With Western University)

Other RSA and VR studies conducted by InfoUse and InfoUse staff:

  • Evaluating the Choice Demonstration Projects of RSA. Conducted an evaluation of the organizations implementing expanded provisions for consumer choice in services.

  • Evaluation of the Validity of Rehabilitation Services Administration Data Reports. Rehabilitation Services Administration, Washington, D.C

  • National Evaluation of Vocational Assessment Procedures and the IWRP Process Used by State VR Agencies, for Research Triangle Institute, North Carolina.

  • Best Practices Study of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to Severely Mentally Ill Individualsinterviews with key informants, and case file reviews of individuals with severe mental illness, regarding VR services delivered, connections with the mental illness system, and employment outcomes.

  • Technical Assistance to the States in Their Effort to Disseminate and Evaluate Policy and Program Development through Model Evaluation and Management Information Systems Functions and Structures, for the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

  • Testing and Refinement of the Vocational Rehabilitation Evaluation Standards. Responsible for pretesting, in state vocational rehabilitation agencies, a performance standards system developed for Federal program management of over $1 billion in resources. Developed a data-based decision support model for use of the standards in management and program enhancement. Responsible for pretesting, in 100 discretionary program grantee projects, the Project Standards system for project planning, monitoring, and evaluation.

    Independent Living and AIVRS programs

    In addition to the Title I VR program, InfoUse has extensive sxperience with the Independent Living and AIVRS programs administered by RSA:

  • Strategies for Common Measures of Employment Outcomes for the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) Program (with RTI). This project included development and administration of a survey of all the AIVRS grantees, with respect to capacity for implementing required employment performance measures. (with RTI)

  • Independent Living Needs Assessment for Unserved and Underserved People with Disabilities – California State Independent Living Council and Department of Rehabilitation Conducted two SILC needs assessments for the California SILC and DR

  • National Research and Training Center on Public Policy and Independent Living, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), with the World Institute on Disability.

  • Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Independent Living and Disability – National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), with the World Institute on Disability.