Postsecondary Education Services and Employment Outcomes within the Vocational Rehabilitation System


  • Dana Gilmore
  • Jennifer Schuster
  • Cynthia Zafft
  • Debra Hart



This article examines provision of postsecondary education services by the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system to eligible individuals with disabilities nationwide. The results of a secondary analysis of elements of the RSA-911 database from the Rehabilitation Services Administration in FY 1997 are discussed. The extent to which individuals within the VR system receive postsecondary education services is compared to the rate of individuals with and without disabilities participating in postsecondary education in the general population. An association between receipt of postsecondary services and VR outcomes is examined. Findings show that receiving postsecondary education services has little effect on the rate of successful closures in the VR system. Individuals receiving postsecondary education services from VR do show higher rates of competitive employment and improved employment outcomes including higher earnings and greater number of hours worked per week. Differences in receipt of postsecondary education services by disability type and the policy implications are discussed.