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How VR Agencies Provide Pre-Employment Transition Services for Students with Disabilities Under WIOA

Research Summary


Researchers reviewed RSA-911 data to provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) administrators and staff a baseline understanding of how VR agencies nationwide provide preemployment transition services to students with disabilities. They analyzed statistics at the agency level using data in PY 2017. This is the first study of its kind since the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was signed into law in 2014.

Key Findings

  • Students with disabilities made up approximately 1/5 of the total caseloads for VR agencies. On average, 64% of students with disabilities using VR services received pre-employment transition services.
  • A majority of students with disabilities received job exploration counseling, counseling on enrollment opportunities, and instruction in self-advocacy directly from VR agencies.
  • Fewer students received workplace readiness training; more than 80% of training was from purchased services.
  • Less than half of students with disabilities received job exploration counseling, workplace readiness training, and instruction in self-advocacy under an individualized plan for employment (IPE).
  • More than 60% of student received work-based learning experiences with an IPE.

Put It Into Practice


Tips and tools to help you apply best practices at work.

  • Provide extra support services, such as transportation, to enable students to participate in pre-employment transition services.
  • Consider purchasing services to increase VR counselors’ capacity to deliver services.
  • Look at providing pre-employment transition services in an ordered sequence that concludes with work-based learning experiences.
  • Examine other VR agencies providing pre-employment transition services to learn how your agency could improve service provision.

More About the Research

Researchers used public-use PY 2017 RSA-911 data for each quarter and calculated measures for each agency across the United States. The data contains information on all participants and reportable individuals for the quarter. They calculated the statistics based on quarterly averages and the averages across all four quarters.

Learn More

Honeycutt, T., Sevak, P., Rizutto, A. (2019). Provision of Pre-employment Transition Services: Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Variation in the First Program Year of Reporting. Mathematica.