Since the recession, employment rates for people with disabilities have not increased at the same rates as those for people without disabilities. In rural areas, these disparities are even more pronounced: in most rural areas, employment rates for people with disabilities decreased significantly while rates for people without disabilities in those same areas increased. See our Employment disparity grows for rural Americans with disability fact sheet, or our Jan. 28 article Rural people with disabilities are still struggling to recover from the recession in The Conversation for more information.
In working to find solutions that help increase employment for people with disabilities in rural areas, RTC:Rural research has found that telecommunication strategies could be useful ways for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies to increase contact between counselors and consumers, and to help more consumers successfully reach their employment goals. See Use of Social Media for Employment project page for more information. Through research and conversations with partners at the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, we found that VR counselors were not using online job search tools and social media as much as they could, partially because they felt unprepared. Continue reading