Evaluating and improving vocational rehabilitation

The Challenge 

Many people have physical or mental health problems that make it difficult to get a job or keep a job. State vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs provide counseling, medical care, job training, and other individualized services to help address these problems and difficulties. The federal government’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) oversees VR programs and evaluates program performance.

RSA has hired Westat to help it evaluate many VR programs.

Our Solutions 

  • We studied
    • Factors that cause and prevent attrition from VR programs
    • The numbers and characteristics of VR clients who completed programs to see if they kept and advanced in their jobs, and find out what other services they received
    • How state VR agencies provide services to their clients, how much they collaborate with other job agencies, and the outcomes and costs of the programs
  • We also
    • Helped the RSA increase the use of data to assess and manage the performance of RSA-supported programs
    • Provided a wide variety of services directly to RSA training programs
  • The nature of our work for RSA has been quite varied, but most has involved retrieving and processing data files; analyzing databases; creating graphics of data; writing fact sheets, issue briefs, and reports; contacting experts in various fields for information; and collecting data from state VR agencies through web-based surveys.

The Results 

  • These studies will inform and support enhancement of VR programs to improve efficiency and effectiveness and increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Our Client 

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)