Individual characteristics and vocational rehabilitation services as predictors of employment for state/federal vocational rehabilitation consumers with HIV/AIDS
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With greater advancement in medical treatments for individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a growing numbers of individuals living with HIV/AIDS are contemplating returning to the workplace. However, they have been faced with barriers to employment and have demonstrated a need for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of employment outcomes of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, who used the state/federal VR program services, using the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA-911) data file from Fiscal Year 2006. Data analyses were conducted using descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses (chi-square analyses, independent t-tests, and ANOVAs), and binary logistic regression using cross validation. Results of the study indicated that of socio-demographic, health, and VR service variables, service variables were only found to be significantly related to employment outcomes. Job search assistance, job placement assistance, and on the job support were found to be significant predictors of successful employment outcomes at closure. In addition, higher costs of purchased services increased the likelihood of being employed at closure. However, the longer the length of VR program participation was, the lower the likelihood of being employed at closure was. Among participants with successful employment outcomes at closure, differences were significant between participants earning less than $200.00 per week and participants earning equal to or higher than $500.00 per week. Participants with less than $200.00 of weekly earnings were more likely to be African Americans, to have lower education levels than an associate degree at closure, to have service occupations or clerical and sales occupations, and to receive SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, and Medicare. On the other hand, participants with equal to or more than $500.00 weekly earnings were more likely to be White, to have higher education levels than an associate degree, and to have professional and managerial occupations and were less likely to receive SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, and Medicare. In addition, they were more likely to receive assessment, VR counseling and guidance, college or university training, job search assistance, transportation, maintenance, and information and referral services compared to those with less than $200.00 weekly earnings. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are discussed.