Research Summary

Research Summary: Disparities in Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Outcomes for Hispanic Clients with Traumatic Brain Injury

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A Quick Look

Hispanics with disabilities represent a growing disability population who increasingly will need state VR services. Few research studies examine disparities of VR services and outcomes for Hispanics with disabilities.

Key Findings

  • European Americans were 1.27 times more likely to obtain employment than were Hispanics.
  • Hispanics with work disincentives had lower odds of returning to work and had more unmet basic needs that need to be addressed in the rehabilitation process.
  • Job placement and on-the-job support services were found to significantly improve employment outcomes.
  • On-the-job support services were more likely to be provided to European Americans than to Hispanics.
  • There is no major disparity in VR services for Hispanic clients with the exception of the provision of on-the-job support services.
  • There is also no major disparity in employment outcomes.
  • European American clients with TBI were found to have higher employment rates (55%) than Hispanic clients did (49%).
  • Hispanics were more likely to receive vocational training, transportation, and maintenance services.
  • Work disincentives, comprehensive assessment, and diagnostic and treatment services were additional risk factors to employment that were specific to Hispanic clients.

Putting It Into Practice

  • Rehabilitation professionals should become familiar with benefits counseling and financial planning/counseling services offered by the Social Security Administration and state VR agencies.
  • The average time to become eligible for VR services was 1.55 months.
  • The average time between eligibility and case closure was 30.64 months.
  • The average number of services received was 4.40.
  • The average case expenditure was $4,601.46.

Learn More

  • Fawber HL, Wachter JF. Job placement as a treatment component of the vocational rehabilitation process. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 1987; 2:27–33.
  • Gamble D, Moore CL. Supported employment: disparities in vocational rehabilitation outcomes, expenditures, and service time for persons with traumatic brain injury. J Vocation Rehabil. 2003;19:47–57.


da Silva, C. E., Romero, M. G., Chan, F., Dutta, A., & Rahimi, M. (2007). Disparities in vocational rehabilitation services and outcomes for Hispanic clients with traumatic brain injury: Do they exist?. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 22 (2), 84-94. DOI: 10.1097/01.HTR.0000265096.44683.6b.

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