Article Details

Article Details

Citation:  Ipsen, C. & Swicegood, G. (2017). Rural and urban vocational rehabilitation self-employment outcomes. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 46 (1), 97-105.
Title:  Rural and urban vocational rehabilitation self-employment outcomes
Authors:  Ipsen, C. & Swicegood, G.
Year:  2017
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  Self-employment is an attractive option for people with disabilities because it offers a means to economic independence while overcoming barriers (ODEP, 2013). Compared to national averages, however, self-employment is an underutilized employment strategy in Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Cited reasons for this discrepancy include VR concerns about self-employment business failures and income potential.
Purpose:  This paper explores the viability of VR self-employment closures across geography.
Study sample:  We compiled 2008 and 2009 RSA-911 data with zip code and county variables from 47 VR agencies (n?=?711,037 cases). We used Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA2) codes matched on zip code to group cases into urban, rural, very rural, and isolated rural geography.
Findings:  Closure rates to self-employment increased as geography become more rural. Weekly earnings rates were similar across competitive and self-employment closures, but consumers closed to self-employment worked fewer hours per week (p?0.001) and earned significantly higher hourly wages (p?0.001).
Conclusions:  Data show that self-employment offers a viable employment option in terms of weekly earnings and hourly wages. Increased capacity in self-employment is important for rural consumers who face additional barriers to employment such as limited transportation options and a narrower range of competitive employment options.

Disabilities served:  Multiple disabilities
Populations served:  Rural and remote communities
Interventions:  Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Self-employment


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