Vocational rehabilitation service usage and outcomes for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Kelly Nye-Lengerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background In the pursuit of improving employment outcomes for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), understanding how participants are using Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), and which services result in competitive integrated employment is of great interest to advocates, families, professionals, and policy makers. The primary objective of this study was to examine the relationships between participant characteristics, service delivery, and employment outcomes for individuals with ASD in state VR programs. Method The Rehabilitation Services Administration's Case Service Report (RSA-911) database for fiscal year 2013 was examined using a binary logistic regression analysis to explore ASD characteristics and service variables. Results Results indicate that ASD characteristics, defined as a source of impairment by VR, had predictive capacity for administrative VR services participants received (e.g. assessment and vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance (VRCG)), but not for job-related services (e.g. job search, job placement, and on-the-job supports). In addition, job-related VR services were more likely to be associated with integrated employment at closure as compared to administrative VR services. In some cases, additional variables related to gender, race, and state system decreased the likelihood of a VR recipient receivingspecific services or achieving integrated employment. Conclusion Discussion includes how awareness of service access and equity can assist in improving the quality and outcomes of VR services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This publication is supported by grant from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded to the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota (#H133B080005).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • ASD
  • Autism
  • Community living
  • Disability
  • Employment
  • Vocational rehabilitation


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