Research Activities

VR-RRTC research activities increase knowledge about the VR program through exploring key characteristics of each state’s VR program and the role it plays within the broader disability and employment services system. The VR-RRTC also investigates effective state VR agency practices for serving individuals with the most significant disabilities, and ways to improve employment outcomes for individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Research activities include:

  1. A Review of Existing Research on VR 
    Researchers conducted a systematic review of research on the public VR program completed between 1970 and 2008, and synthesized the findings. This review informs future research, training, and technical assistance activities of the VR-RRTC.
  2. Case Studies of Effective State VR Agency Practices 
    Researchers are currently conducting case studies to identify and disseminate effective state VR practices. The goals are to assist agencies in managing outreach, service access, and case flow to serve individuals with the most significant disabilities on a priority basis, and to help agencies improve employment outcomes for individuals with mental illness, and for those with developmental disabilities.
  3. Surveys of Service Providers
    Researchers conducted a series of provider surveys including state VR agencies, state intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) agencies, state mental health agencies, state welfare agencies, and community rehabilitation providers to develop state-by-state profiles of employment services and the role of the VR program within these state contexts.
  4. State VR Agency Survey
    Researchers surveyed (wave 1) and interviewed (wave 2) directors of state VR agencies to collect descriptive information about their agencies’ decisions, policies, and practices. This will inform another national survey of all state VR agencies, to be distributed in spring 2012 (wave 3).
  5. ExploreVR
    ExploreVR is a web application that provides easy and convenient access to a range of vocational rehabilitation (VR) data for planning, evaluation, and decision-making. Through this data-sharing effort, we are seeking to increase knowledge about the public VR program and its role within the larger employment and disability service system, within and across states and territories. ExploreVR will be valuable for rehabilitation researchers, individuals with disabilities, state agencies, community rehabilitation providers, and disability advocates. For more information contact Holly Jacobs.