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Occasional Paper

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Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, I/DD, Developmental Disabilities, Employment, Access to Integrated Employment, ThinkWork, 90DN0295


Disability Studies | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Social Statistics | Social Work | Sociology | Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling


Only 23% of adults with intellectual disabilities work, compared to 73% of people without disabilities ( To bridge this gap, the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program offers valuable services including assessment, job search assistance, and counseling. In FY 2014, over 46,000 adults with intellectual disabilities exited the national VR program. About 38% of them reported an employment outcome. However, a large proportion of them exited without employment, and were reported as either having lost interest in receiving services (29%), or unable to be located by VR staff (17%). These two reasons combined represented 46% of the total number of case closures of adults with intellectual disabilities in 2014, nationally. In ten states, well over half of the adults with intellectual disabilities in contact with VR had cases closed for one of these two reasons. (See chart on next page.) It is not clear why so many people who connect with VR lose interest in receiving services, or why VR loses the ability to locate or contact so many of them. Given the large number of these cases, particularly in some states, learning more about the nature of these two categories of case closure could lead to insights about improving retention, thus increasing employment outcomes of adults with intellectual disabilities.


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