Successful Vocational Rehabilitation Innovations: Building a Better Toolbox
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
The Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services successfully participated in a randomized control trial of an intervention designed in partnership with more than 100 vocational rehabilitation (VR) personnel and twenty state VR agencies to identify effective practices for increasing earnings outcomes of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries. This paper introduces articles in a special issue that tells the story of the SGA Model Demonstration from design, testing, and impact evaluation. The SGA Model Demonstration began reviewing administrative data, collecting expert opinion, and exploring current practice in eight state VR agencies. After an eighteen-month period of capacity building, two state VR agencies randomized local offices and implemented a rapid coordinated team approach. State VR agencies are successfully participating in rigorous research activities including model demonstrations with experimental designs. Model demonstrations that include experimental designs are effective strategies to improve knowledge and build a better practitioner toolbox to advance employment outcomes of VR clients.