The transition from adolescence to adulthood and employment is a significant challenge for young people with intellectual disabilities (PwID). Barriers to employment include a lack of ‘real-world,’ individualized, and employment-focused assessments, interventions, and services, which make obtaining and keeping a job particularly problematic. A critical limitation exists in our ability to appropriately and accurately assess and predict the best fit between individuals’ skills and interests and job demands and activities. A valid and reliable method that both informs employment services and predicts employment problems is crucial for more targeted support services, preventing job loss, and keeping PwID employed.*
Vocational Fit Assessment (VFA) seeks to improve employment outcomes for PwID by providing accurate, person-centered measures of work-related interests and adaptive behavior (Persch, 2015). The VFA consists of the: (1) VFA-Worker and VFA-Job, which are used to assess workers’ abilities and job demands, respectively, using common item stems; (2) Demands & Abilities Transforming Algorithm, which transforms VFA data for analysis and clinical action; and (3) Job Matching Reports, which visualizes vocational fit “VocFit” by identifying the pros and cons of each potential job match and areas of need that are suitable for intervention (e.g., job training, accommodations, modifications).*
We will test the central hypothesis that the VFA will be a reliable, valid, responsive, and useful measure of employment status for PwID, by pursuing these specific aims*:
- Quantify Vocational Fit Assessment reliability and validity in the context of PwID in transition to employment.
- Determine Vocational Fit Assessment responsiveness.
- Evaluate Vocational Fit Assessment clinical utility.
*Taken from Vocational Fit Assessment (VocFit), Andrew Persch, 2015