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Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models
for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
E-Newsletter-April 2012, Issue 8 PDF Print E-mail

SEDL's VR Autism Newsletter April 2012

APRIL 2012
April Autism Awareness Month Ribbon
April is Autism Awareness Month!

According to the CDC, one out of 88 children are on the autism spectrum. This is a 23% increase in the prevalence rate since the last CDC report issued in 2009. As more children with ASD become adults, it is important to focus on long-term strategies for increasing the employment rate amongst people with ASD.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Autism Spectrum Disorders [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from

Systematic Review Published in the Campbell Collaboration

The Campbell Collaboration (C2) logoIt is with much enthusiasm that we report our first systematic review has been published! Adult employment assistance services for persons with autism spectrum disorders: Effects on employment outcomes, was published by the Campbell Collaboration (C2), and the full-text is available at the C2 Web site: The review sought to determine the effectiveness of adult assistance services for persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The search strategy revealed 8,528 citations for review. Of these, 77 studies were advanced for full-text review. Two studies in the full-text review met all criteria set out in the search strategy. Meta-analysis of the studies was not appropriate because the outcomes of the studies were dissimilar. However, these included studies showed the benefits of supported employment models or no intervention have advantage over a sheltered workshop.

Selected qualitative studies were reviewed to further illuminate the findings of the two quantitative studies included in the review. Because of the research methodologies of these qualitative studies, it is impossible to draw generalizable conclusions. However, these qualitative studies suggested individualized work placements for people with ASD based on the individual's strengths are paramount to successful long-term competitive employment. Appropriate work settings with effective job coaching and long-term support were also identified in the qualitative literature as central to sustaining employment.

Welcome Alice Hunnicutt

Please join us in welcoming Alice Hunnicutt to the VR Autism project's National Advisory Panel. Alice comes to us after the retirement of Bill Palmer from Florida's Division of Rehabilitation Services. We wish Bill a happy, fun-filled retirement! Alice Hunnicutt is the Director at New Jersey's Vocational Rehabilitation Services. She is also the Founding Board President of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network. Alice has worked for many years in disability advocacy with particular expertise in child to adult transition. Alice is the parent of five young adults, and she is very proud of the advocacy skills they developed in their transition years. We look forward to Alice's expertise when this panel reconvenes this summer.

Programs that Work

Show to Care Van Driver

The VR Autism project has identified seven programs across the United States that have been designated as "effective" by the project's National Advisory Panel in supporting people with ASD in their job search and job maintenance. Virginia Commonwealth University's Employment Services Division is one such program. On April 26th at 11 a.m. EDT, VCU's employment specialists for people with ASD will present via webcast the findings of a recently conducted research project focusing on the outcomes of their supported employment program. To register for this webcast please go to - If you cannot listen to the webcast live, an archive of the webcast will be made available on the project's website.

Since January, SEDL has hosted two other webcasts featuring effective programs. Archives of these webcasts are found at the links below, and CRCC credit is available for each of these following the completion of the evaluation.

The Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC)
ASNC's Supported Employment Program matches individuals with ASD to jobs that suit the individual's abilities and interests. By providing a reliable source of trained workers to businesses across North Carolina, ASNC saves business owners' time and money. ASNC's job placement specialists provide follow-up services and customized workplace consultation.
Archived webcast:


The Groden Network of Programs
The Vocational Services Department of the Groden Network of Programs, provided 10,500 hours of job coaching in 2011 to over 100 people with ASD. The approaches to get employers on board with the program's mission of helping people with ASD become productive members of their communities and the instruction of "soft skills" necessary for long-term job placement will be further described during this webcast. Archived webcast:

The VR-Autism project is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). View full disclaimer