Employment Goals and Settings: Effects of Individual and Systemic Factors

Derek Nord, Kristin Hamre, Sandra Pettingell, Louise Magiera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) continue to experience high rates of unemployment. Previous research suggests that including an employment goal in an individual’s service plan can be a mechanism toward attaining employment, especially in a community setting. This study contributes to the understanding of the role of employment goals and employment in community and facility-based settings for people with IDD. This study used 2012 to 2013 National Core Indicators (NCI) Adult Consumer Survey data from 26 states to understand (a) the effect of disability and guardianship on attaining an employment goal and (b) the effect of disability, guardianship, and an employment goal on employment in community and facility-based settings. Results indicate that people with more significant intellectual disability (ID), communication and mobility challenges, and people under guardianship had significantly lower odds of an employment goal. Related to employment settings, people with an employment goal have significantly higher odds of employment in individual-community, odds ratio (OR) = 11.25, p ⩽.001, and group-community (OR = 6.07, p ⩽.001) settings. Those with more significant levels of ID had significantly lower odds of employment in individual-community (OR = 0.64, p ⩽.001), group-community (OR = 0.85, p ⩽.05), and facility-based settings (OR = 0.85, p ⩽.01). The odds of employment for people with communication and mobility challenges were significantly lower, across all settings. Guardianship status did not have a significant effect. These findings have policy and practice implications that should be considered in systems improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-206
Number of pages13
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This publication was developed under grants from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD grant number 90DDUC001) and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant numbers 90RT5028-01-00 and 90RT5019-01-01). Both entities are within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this article do not necessarily represent the policy of AIDD, NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • employment
  • employment goal
  • intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • National Core Indicators
  • setting


Dive into the research topics of 'Employment Goals and Settings: Effects of Individual and Systemic Factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this