Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development

First Advisor

Estrada-Hernandez, Noel

First Committee Member

Bardhoshi, Gerta

Second Committee Member

Priest, Jacob

Third Committee Member

Sanchez, Jennifer

Fourth Committee Member

Wadsworth, John


State federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies are one of the most wide spread and oldest programs designed to help individuals with disabilities. Currently, VR agencies provide various services designed to aide individuals with disabilities obtaining and maintaining employment. Currently, VR agencies serve approximately 1 million individuals with disabilities and spend about 3 billion dollars annually. Given how large and the amount of state and federal dollars are spent on VR, it is important that the outcomes of this program are researched and evaluated.

The purpose of this study was to examine how different variables are related to VR outcomes across states. More specifically, this study utilized the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a framework to study how contextual factors such as personal characteristics, agency level factors, and state-economic variables impact the employment rate of three different groupings based on state VR agency performance.

This study utilized secondary data analysis to explore these relationships using the FY 2013 RSA-911 dataset was paired with the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS). Multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the relationships that exist between personal characteristics and state economic factors across the VR performance groups. Further, a hierarchical linear model (HLM) was used to investigate how the relationship between personal level characteristics and state economic variables may be influenced by investigating this data by considering the levels of the agencies.

Results of this study revealed that agency-level factors and state economic variables are important predictors of the employment rate. The final model of the HLM found that state economic variables and agency-level factors moderate the relationship between personal characteristics and the employment rate. Further, all agency-level factors and state economic variables except poverty resulted in a significant relationship regarding the employment rate. In this final model, none of the personal characteristics were significant. The results of the multiple regressions revealed different relationships exist among personal characteristics, agency-level factors, and state economic variables and employment rate given the performance group.


agency differences, personal characteristics, state-economic variables, vocational rehabilitation


xii, 118 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 107-118).


Copyright © 2018 Tawny Chamberlain