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Aim

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between vocational rehabilitation services provided and work outcomes among people with cerebral palsy (CP), taking in to account demographic characteristics.

Method

From the US Department of Education Rehabilitation Service Administration Case Service Report (RSA-911) database, data from 3162 individuals with CP (1820 males [57.6%] and 1342 females [42.4% age range 16–54y) whose cases were closed in 2009, were used in this study. A total of 1567 cases (49.6%) were closed with clients being categorized as ‘successful employment’ and 1595 cases (50.4%) were closed with clients being classified as unemployed.

Results

Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between services provided and work outcomes with regard to demographic characteristics. Males aged between 26 and 54 years old with higher education attainment were more likely to be employed. Individuals receiving disability benefits were less likely to be employed. After controlling for the effect of demographic and work disincentive variables, five vocational rehabilitation services significantly predicted employment outcomes (p<0.05), including (1) on-the-job training; (2) job placement assistance; (3) on-the-job support; (4) maintenance services; and (5) rehabilitation technology.

Interpretation

Medical and health professionals need to be aware of vocational rehabilitation agencies as a resource for providing medical, psychological, educational, and vocational interventions for adults with CP to help them maximize their employability, to address their much needed work adjustment skills, to establish independent living, and to eventually reach their full potential in participation in society.