Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
A job can provide not only independence but also a sense of self-worth and fulfillment. But for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), finding and keeping a job can be extremely difficult. As a group, people with ASD experience low employment rates among people with disabilities. Moreover, the number of Americans diagnosed with ASD is on the rise. Through the Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders project, SEDL is providing research and resources to help people with autism find and keep jobs. SEDL's Disability Research to Practice program is participating in this project in partnership with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of Central Florida (UCF-CARD). The project includes the following major activities.
Learning From Successes. SEDL staff have asked state directors of vocational rehabilitation agencies to nominate programs that are best practices. Excepting UCF-CARD, which was among the nominees but ineligible since it is already SEDL’s partner, all of the 11 nominated programs were contacted and asked to provide information about their program of services. A national board of advisors will meet at SEDL on May 10 to discuss survey responses and work on identifying best practice models. Through awareness and free-of-charge technical assistance resources provided by the project, SEDL anticipates that service providers will begin to adopt or adapt the best practice models.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Directory
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Autism Spectrum Disorders project is collecting information about specialty counselors (or lead counselors) working with individuals with ASD who are interested in seeking vocational rehabilitation (VR) service supports. This directory is intended to help consumers and families initiate contacts with the VR system.
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Autism Spectrum Disorders project offers webcasts to NIDRR grantees, people with disabilities and their families, professional organizations, and other stakeholders to increase awareness of and discussions regarding knowledge translation concepts and other topics of broad scope related to VR-Autism, standards of evidence, systematic review procedures, effective outreach activities, and conclusions/implications from specific systematic reviews addressing topics of high interest to consumers of evidence-based research.
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