Diversifying the supported employment workforce : values, critical analysis abilities, and self-efficacy ratings of business and social service students

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Galka, Steven W.
Perkins, David V.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Psychological Science
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Supported employment has been shown to be an effective way to contribute to the community reintegration of persons with disabilities. Traditionally, the hiring practice for supported employment staffs has focused on individuals with social service training; however, it has been proposed that employment specialists need to possess advanced skills that tend to be emphasized in business training programs. This study uses several new measures to identify differences in attitudes toward vocational rehabilitation and readiness and aptitude for a supported employment position, of social service and business students. Results indicate that social service students possess higher levels of clinical readiness and aptitude and more favorable attitudes toward vocational rehabilitation than do business students. Nevertheless, business students' readiness, attitudes, and aptitude are above theoretical neutral points, and comparable to those of social service students, and thus, effort should be devoted to diversifying the workforce by recruiting individuals with business training.