Promising lessons learned from PROMISE

October 22, 2019

Amsterdam, NL, October 22, 2019 - A special issue of the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation (JVR), provides a comprehensive review of PROMISE (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income), a joint initiative of US federal agencies the Social Security Administration and Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor. PROMISE funded evidence-based services and interventions to improve educational and vocational outcomes for youth with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in an effort to reduce long-term reliance on SSI benefits.

Guest editors Thomas Golden, EdD, CRC, Executive Director of the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, and Catherine Anderson, PhD, CRC, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA ,organized a collection of articles that evaluate PROMISE strategies and make policy and programmatic recommendations.

Rolled out in 2013, PROMISE conducted six Model Demonstration Projects (MDP) across 11 states to provide educational, vocational, and other services to 13,000 youth with disabilities (aged 14 -16) receiving SSI and their families. The program was designed to make better use of existing resources by improving service coordination among state and local agencies. A significant body of data was amassed during the six-year experiment that establishes its success and can be used to shape future efforts.

"A key PROMISE takeaway, confirming earlier research, is that once youth and families are engaged, interest-based job placement, case management supports, and job readiness training are significant predictors of success," said Dr. Anderson. "Counseling about benefits, work incentives, and financial empowerment is also central to the employment process."

The PROMISE experience sheds light on why evidence-based employment services delivered through coordinated case management are important. There is a growing number of young people with disabilities whose families live in poverty across the US. According to a 2017 report from the US General Accountability Office (GAO), between 2000 and 2016 there was a 44% increase in SSI-eligible youth with disabilities. The GAO found that only a small percentage of these individuals were engaged with public vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs, despite the evidence that engaging with VR leads to better outcomes.

Systems serving this population are complex and challenging to maneuver. Intensive case management support is needed to aid these individuals and their families to navigate access the services they need. PROMISE showed that intentional systems coordination aimed at enabling access and engagement in existing employment support services is definitely needed.

"The current US domestic disability and employment policy framework does not include intensive and targeted case management for this population. Promoting post-school transition success requires stronger connections, collaboration, and a peer- and family-centered focus," explained Dr. Golden.

PROMISE found that services and supports must be customized and designed to flexibly meet individual needs. For example, the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program, which is primarily targeted toward a working-aged adult population, does not provide a vehicle to support successful post-school movement of youth who receive SSI. In addition, because issues associated with disability and poverty are often a driving force in the decision-making process for youth who receive SSI and their families, basic needs must often be addressed prior to and during the before self-development and employment process.

"This special issue on the PROMISE demonstration research projects has been an extremely important investment in helping to understand how to help individuals with significant disabilities, who are highly dependent on federal subsidies, become more independent through competitive (open) employment opportunities," commented JVR's Editor-in-Chief Paul H. Wehman, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports, Richmond, VA, USA. "Several different important themes evolved such as the importance of family, early engagement with work experiences and vocational rehabilitation, and targeted case management services. The US invested a large amount of money in this research and the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and IOS Press are pleased to share these exciting results that will inform policymakers, legislators, and researchers on this challenging topic."

IOS Press

Related Disabilities Articles from Brightsurf:

College students with disabilities at greater risk for substance abuse
College students with physical and cognitive disabilities use illicit drugs more, and have a higher prevalence of drug use disorder, than their non-disabled peers, according to a Rutgers study.

Asthma among children with developmental disabilities
How common asthma was among children with various developmental disabilities (including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder and vision, hearing or speech delay) was compared to children without disabilities in this survey study.

Children with developmental disabilities more likely to develop asthma
Children with developmental disabilities or delay are more at risk of developing asthma, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open led by public health researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) as part of the Center for Pediatric Population Health.

Self-help groups empower caregivers of children with disabilities
Caregivers in low-income settings will be able to respond to the challenges of bringing up children with disabilities, thanks to a new model created by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

Unintended pregnancy rates higher among women with disabilities, study says
Pregnancies among women with disabilities are 42% more likely to be unintended than pregnancies among women without disabilities, says a new report published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

More medical students are telling their schools about disabilities, and getting a response
The percentage of medical students who told their schools that they have a disability rose sharply in recent years, a new study shows.

The unpopular truth about biases toward people with disabilities
Needing to ride in a wheelchair can put the brakes on myriad opportunities -- some less obvious than one might think.

How to improve care for patients with disabilities? We need more providers like them
When it comes to patients with disabilities, the chance of getting a clinician 'like them' is extremely low, which may lead to patients' reluctance to seek care or follow prescribed interventions and treatments.

Progress to restore movement in people with neuromotor disabilities
A study published in the advanced edition of April 12, 2019 in the journal Neural Computation shows that approaches based on Long Short-Term Memory decoders could provide better algorithms for neuroprostheses that employ Brain-Machine Interfaces to restore movement in patients with severe neuromotor disabilities.

Certain physical disabilities may affect outcomes in kidney transplant recipients
Compared with kidney transplant recipients who did not report a disability, recipients with a visual disability were at higher risk of organ failure and recipients with a walking disability were at higher risk of early death.

Read More: Disabilities News and Disabilities Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to