KTER Center’s 2019 State of the Science Conference on Employment Research

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KTER Center’s 2019 State of the Science Conference on Employment Research

KTER Center staff and invited guests participated in KTER’s 2019 State of the Science (SoS) Conference on Employment Research on September 5-6, 2019 in Portland, Maine, in conjunction with the 12th Annual Summit on Performance Management Excellence. The SoS was a special track of presentations organized by the KTER Center that focused on the knowledge translation of research on improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Participants heard about the latest findings from the KTER Center’s own studies from staff members Kathleen Murphy (KTER Center principal investigator) and Melissa Scardaville (KTER Center researcher), with KTER 2019 summer intern Amber Brown (doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University). Presentations focused on knowledge brokering to promote the use of research in VR contexts in order to improve the employment outcomes of adults with autism and transition-age youth with disabilities. KTER staff also presented the status of a study that encourages the use of research findings to support VR outreach to businesses.

Maureen Dobbins from the School of Nursing at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) gave a luncheon keynote address that provided an overview of knowledge brokering as a comprehensive strategy to develop capacity for trainees and to support change in the work setting.

Ann Williams Outlaw (Center on KTDRR) shared a workshop on Using Knowledge Translation Models in Disability Employment Research. Other NIDILRR grantees shared their cutting-edge research on KT and employment outcomes. The KTER Center extends special thanks to grantee presenters Teresa Grossi (Indiana University); Rick Sizemore, Bob Schmidt, Joe Ashley, Kirsten Rowe, and Rob Froehlich (Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment Project); Sarah Boege (University of New Hampshire, StatsRRTC); and Wendy Strobel-Gower (Cornell University).

KTER State of the Science Proceedings and Archives

Most of the SoS sessions were recorded, and the archives and accompanying materials are available below. After you have reviewed these presentations, we would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete the 2019 SoS Evaluation.

Agenda: KTER-2019-SOS-AgendaF.docx
Proceedings: KTER-2019-SoS-Proceedings.docx

Knowledge Brokering in Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Contexts Kathleen M. Murphy - KTER Center, Melissa Scardaville - American Institutes for Research; Amber Brown - Virginia Commonwealth University (presented September 5, 2019)
Abstract: The presentation summarizes results from the KTER Center's intervention study of knowledge brokering in vocational rehabilitation agencies. KTER trained staff who supervised at least 4 VR counselors—and so were in a position to act as knowledge brokers—in either pre-employment transition services or the employment of adults with autism. KTER staff followed the knowledge brokers for 6 months. They collected survey data from study participants, their staff, and a control group of supervisors and their staff to measure impact on changes in attitudes toward and use of research on-the-job.

YouTube Video – Knowledge Brokering Study (1 hr., 3 min.)
Transcript – Knowledge Brokering Study
Knowledge Brokering Study Presentation Slides

Knowledge Brokering as an Evidence-Based Strategy
Maureen Dobbins - School of Nursing, McMaster University (presented September 5, 2019)
Abstract: This keynote presentation provides an overview of knowledge brokering as a comprehensive strategy to develop capacity for trainees and to support change in the work setting. Dr. Dobbins shares the results of her many years of research in this topic and examines its application in the VR context in the US.

YouTube Video – Knowledge Brokering Evidence-Based Strategy (57 min. NOTE: Audio starts at 30 seconds in.)
Transcript – Knowledge Brokering Evidence-Based Strategy
Knowledge Brokering Evidence-Based Strategy Presentation Slides

Working with Schools: Improving Employment Outcomes for Youth
Teresa Grossi - Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University (presented - September 5, 2019)
Abstract: Transition from school-to-work, including into the adult service systems can be daunting for the student, families and school personnel. The passage of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act 2014 (WIOA) allows for creative opportunities to work with schools on offering pre-employment transition services. This session shares the results of a School-to-Work Collaborative that embedded employment resources within the school from the adult services provider, including the collaboration, roles and responsibilities between schools, Vocational Rehabilitation, community employment providers enhanced agency connections, work experiences and employment outcomes. Participants identify strategies to work effectively with schools and ultimately improve employment outcomes for youth within their local community. Understanding the school’s culture, expectations and ways to enhance collaboration will be explored and the challenges and solutions developed by the local collaboratives.

YouTube Video – Working with Schools (54 min.)
Transcript – Working with Schools
Working with Schools Presentation Slides

The Vocational Rehabilitation Return on Investment Project: Employment Research and Knowledge Translation
Rick Sizemore - Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center; Bob Schmidt - University of Richmond; Joe Ashley - Ashley Consulting, LLC; Kirsten Rowe - Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services; Rob Froehlich - The George Washington University (presented - September 5, 2019)
Abstract: The VR-ROI Project’s methodologically rigorous model is used to determine the employment impacts and return on investment of the VR Program. This session describes how a multi-layer knowledge translation plan is an essential component in order to facilitate effective application of research findings to practice. The researcher/practitioner interface, facilitation of stakeholder feedback, and experiences pertaining to all these topics are discussed.

YouTube Video – VR-ROI Project (1 hr., 14 min.)
Transcript – VR-ROI Project
VR-ROI Project Presentation Slides

Using Knowledge Translation Models in Disability Employment Research
Ann Outlaw - Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR) (presented - September 6, 2019; session was not recorded.)
Abstract: In this workshop participants learn concepts underpinning knowledge translation to move conceptual discoveries from scientific research into practice by improving the relevance and application of research. Following an introduction to the Knowledge-to-Action framework (Graham et al., 2006), participants practiced applying this framework to developing knowledge translation activities appropriate for the vocational rehabilitation context.

KT Models Presentation Slides

Knowledge Translation – StatsRRTC Reflections
Sarah Boege - Disability Statistics & Demographics RRTC (StatsRRTC), Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire (presented - September 6, 2019)
Abstract: Following the KTDRR Workshop session on the Knowledge-to-Action framework (Graham et al., 2006), the StatsRRTC presented examples of this framework applied in disability statistics technical assistance projects, including both short- and longer-term partnerships. The Knowledge Translation Complexity Network Model (KTCN, Kitson et el., 2018), and other future directions of the field of Knowledge Translation and the use of statistics in the vocational rehabilitation context are discussed.

YouTube Video – KT Reflections (25 min.)
Transcript – KT Reflections
KT Reflections Presentation Slides

The Diversity Partners Project at Cornell
Wendy Strobel-Gower - K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University (presented - September 6, 2019; session was not recorded.)
Abstract: Job developers, employment specialists, workforce development staff and others in both the public and private sector who connect people with disabilities to jobs are the "bridge" between labor supply and demand. In order to serve as an effective bridge, these professionals must form partnerships with employers. A partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance mutual interests. Ideally, the approach to employers shouldn’t just be about making a single placement, it should also be about understanding and meeting the needs of the employer in order to establish long-term partnership. Diversity Partners is a combination of both facilitated training and consultation, and online learning modules, that can help professionals find better employment opportunities for people with disabilities through improved business relationships.

Diversity Partners Project Presentation Slides

National Employment Team Members: Supporting Vocational Rehabilitation's Outreach to Businesses
Kathleen M. Murphy - KTER Center; Amber Brown - Virginia Commonwealth University (presented - September 6, 2019)
Abstract: This presentation summarizes results from the KTER Center's research with members of the Council on State Administrators on Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team (the "NET"). KTER conducted a training needs assessment and scoping review on studies of efforts vocational rehabilitation has made to reach out to business. Their findings informed a training and follow-up support for NET members on how to function as knowledge brokers in their domains to raise awareness among other staff and employers about how vocational rehabilitation can support the needs of business.

YouTube Video – Employer Outreach (42 min.)
Transcript – Employer Outreach
Employer Outreach Presentation Slides