Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Mari Ann Graham


Social Work


Employment rates are much lower among individuals with disabilities, and lower still for those with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). This study systematically reviewed a subset of existing research studies to determine how well vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs have affected economic outcomes for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Findings demonstrate that while persons receiving VR services are more likely to obtain employment, only 18% are working competitively, often for minimum wage. Studies varied in how earnings were reported. Emergent themes include the prevalence of poverty, challenges with providing person-centered interventions, barriers to inclusion in integrated work settings, barriers to obtaining employment, and the lack of first-hand data from the recipients of VR services. Implications for social work practice, policy, and recommendations for future research are also discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons