research in focus

For Young African American Men with Substance Use Disorders, VR May Be a Promising Path to Employment

The unemployment rate for young African American men was as high as 33 percent in 2013 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The problem of unemployment is even more profound for young African American men with substance use disorders who face additional stressors that may worsen symptoms of substance abuse and interfere with opportunities for employment.


Does College Training Have a Role to Play in VR?

People with disabilities in the United States face daunting prospects when it comes to employment. Unemployment rates are significantly higher for people with disabilities than those of the general public and, when employed, people with disabilities are likely to earn less than people without disabilities. To help lessen this disparity, vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs are designed to assist job seekers with disabilities by offering training and support as they enter in or return to the workforce.


Could a Phone-Delivered Program Teach People with MS What They Need to Know to Manage Their Symptoms?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system. According to the National MS Society, some of the most common and debilitating symptoms people with MS may experience are fatigue, chronic pain, and depression. Living well with these symptoms can be a daily challenge.


What are Key Factors in Successfully Integrating Service Dogs in the Workplace?

Many people with disabilities use service dogs or assistance dogs to maintain independence at home, at work, and in the community. Service dogs are trained to perform specific functions such as guiding a person with visual impairments safely from place to place, alerting a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing to sounds in the environment, or providing other assistance such as pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items. Some dogs can also be trained to alert a person of an oncoming seizure or a drop in blood sugar or insulin.


Serious Games Can Be Fun and Educational. Make Sure Everyone Can Play!

“Serious games” are computer or video games that use entertainment to train or educate the players. The games are developed and used to encourage skill development, improve health or cognitive function, or communicate messages of public safety or policy. These types of games could also help older adults to improve memory and cognition, or provide specific therapy following stroke or other health conditions. However, age-related changes like vision or hearing loss can make these games harder to play.


For lower-income families dealing with childhood TBI, a web-based parent training program shows promise

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain from an external force. When a child experiences a TBI, it impacts the whole family, especially the parents. Dealing with new medical needs, changes in mood and behavior, and all the associated costs can ratchet up parental distress. For lower-income families, adding financial issues and poor access to care and services can be a recipe for crisis.


Business and Vocational Rehabilitation Can Build Partnerships for Employment Success

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) is a series of programs and services designed to help a person with a disability find and keep a job or return to work after injury. These services are most often provided by counselors at a VR agency. VR counselors spend a lot of time getting to know the individuals with disabilities they work with, understanding their needs and abilities, and supporting them as find their place in the workforce.


To Improve IDEA, Parents Draw from Experience.

IEP, LRE, FAPE. These acronyms are part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), landmark federal legislation that ensures children with disabilities in the US have equal opportunity to receive a free and appropriate public education. IDEA gives parents a central role in advocating for their child’s access to the services and supports they need from preschool through graduation. While parents are at the heart of the process, in the last reauthorization of IDEA, less than 4 percent of the comments collected from the public came from individual parents.



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