VR Practices - Center Studies

Using Evidence to Improve VR Practices and Promote Youth Outcomes

This project has two sequential goals: (1) to review current state VR programs serving youth and young adults with disabilities and evaluate the efficacy of these programs, and (2) to design, implement, and test a data-analytic system to provide VR agencies with learning opportunities to continuously improve service delivery and outcomes to transitioning youth. While many studies have documented current VR practices and identified potentially promising practices, little is known about their efficacy. Similarly, although broad literature exists on the effectiveness of work-based experiences for transition outcomes, little of this research has focused specifically on VR agencies.

This project will inform policymakers, VR agencies, and the disability community about current programs serving youth and young adults with disabilities, existing efforts to assess the efficacy of these programs, and ways to use administrative data and data analytics to improve agency practices and to promote youth outcomes. The findings will help agencies identify better ways of collecting and using data on their clients so they can track services and outcomes for the youth they serve and identify and implement the most effective practices.

What are the Transition Practices of Highly Effective VR Counselors?

The purpose of this “exploration and discovery” study is to identify the most effective VR counselors and to compile and disseminate these effective transition-related skills and practices in order to build a knowledge base on best practices for this population. A major benefit of this study is that it leverages the results of the Center’s Study #1, the association between individual and agency level factors and employment outcomes, to identify a population from which to recruit a sample of high-performing VR counselors. It builds on the “macro” findings in Study #1, and offers a matching “micro” perspective on effective counselor practices.

Together, these studies enable the Center to provide a comprehensive description and compilation of effective SVRA procedures, policies, and practices from “top down” and “bottom up” perspectives, assisting policymakers, rehabilitation professionals, in-the-field practitioners, youth with disabilities and their families, and advocates with identifying and disseminating the best practices of highly effective VR counselors.