People with disabilities have an unemployment rate more than twice that of people without disabilities. The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system helps people with disabilities find and maintain employment but over half of VR consumers leave services early. Researchers at the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) conducted a research project on early exit from VR services. Reasons for early exit from VR services vary but include issues such as inaccurate contact information, disconnected phone or relocation. However, some VR consumers cite dissatisfaction with services as their primary reason for discontinuing. The researchers who developed this study wanted to learn more about why consumers were not satisfied with VR services and offer insight on these findings to VR counselors with the goal of reducing early exit from the system.
As part of this project, VR consumers were surveyed and interviewed and asked to identify why they left services early. While some people were quite satisfied with their experience and found jobs which resulted in early exit from VR services, negative reasons for early exit included the perception that consumers weren’t listened to by VR counselors or feeling pushed into jobs that were not a good fit. RTC: Rural researchers have released a new fact sheet that describes the study in detail and includes responses from qualitative interviews with consumers.