The Quest for Ordinary Lives: The Integrated Post-School Vocational Functioning of 50 Workers with Significant Disabilities

  title={The Quest for Ordinary Lives: The Integrated Post-School Vocational Functioning of 50 Workers with Significant Disabilities},
  author={Lou Brown and Betsy Shiraga and Kim Kessler},
  journal={Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities},
  pages={121 - 93}
An extensive report is made of the work histories of 50 adults with significant disabilities who are served by Community Work Services, Inc., in Madison, Wisconsin. The primary purpose is to share information about the integrated vocational functioning of these adults, 90% of whom exited high school 15–24 years ago. A second purpose is to celebrate the inspiring achievements of a remarkable group of workers, their family members and the professionals who served them. A third is to affirm the… 
When ordinary becomes extraordinary: A postschool follow up study of the integrated vocational functioning of 50 workers with significant intellectual disabilities, 1984-2020
The authors are not aware of any other postschool follow up study of so many workers with significant intellectual disabilities who functioned in integrated work settings for such long periods of time.
An integrated work skill analysis strategy for workers with significant intellectual disabilities
It is important that individuals with significant disabilities are given the opportunities to succeed in employment and following strategies to ensure the particular work environment will be safe and appropriate for a particular worker is just one step towards the chance to thrive in the workplace.
The role of community rehabilitation providers in employment for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities: results of the 2010-2011 National Survey.
Based on the 2010-2011 National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers, findings are presented on people with all disabilities and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)
Participation in open employment is deemed as a means to independent living for the majority of persons with disabilities. However, the experience of being independent could have resulted differently
Raising Expectations for U.S. Youth with Disabilities: Federal Disability Policy Advances Integrated Employment
  • J. Novak
  • Medicine
    Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal
  • 2015
How contemporary U.S. federal disability policy has heightened expectations that youth with disabilities – including those with significant disabilities – can and should be prepared to work in integrated workplaces is examined.
Transitions from school for young adults with intellectual disability: Parental perspectives on “life as an adjustment”
Parental reflections on family adjustment and life satisfaction for the young adult since leaving school highlight the lack of post-school options and the impact of these circumstances on the whole family.
The personnel factor: Exploring the personal attributes of highly successful employment specialists who work with transition-age youth
Employment specialists play a pivotal role in assisting youth and adults with disabilities find and retain jobs. This requires a unique combination of skills, competencies and personal attributes.
A Parent and Policy Perspective on the Quest for Ordinary Lives
The outlook of a mother for her disabled child is dimmed by what she knows and can easily observe about American society: People with disabilities live very different lives, often in the margins of communities.
Employment Support as Knowledge Creation
Traditional practice in employment of persons with disabilities has been to assess the skills and interests of the job seeker in relation to normative standards or to others. That comparative
Service Integration and School to Work Transition: Customized Employment as an Outcome for Youth with Significant Disabilities
This article presents a model of transition service delivery that is designed to produce seamless transition from school to work for youth considered to have significant disability, be candidates for


Fewer Paraprofessionals and More Teachers and Therapists in Educational Programs for Students with Significant Disabilities
During the post-World War II baby boom, increasing numbers of children with significant disabilities survived the birth process and lived longer than their predecessors. Many viewed them as less
Longitudinal Postschool Outcomes of Youth with Disabilities: Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study
This article describes findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) of Special Education Students regarding trends in the employment, wages, postsecondary education, and
Clinical, social, and ethical implications of changing life expectancy in Down syndrome.
After improvements in basic public health measures, life expectancy in most developed nations increased over the course of the 20th century, and this trend included people with learning disability, and by the end of that century, the survival estimates for people with mild learning disability living in developed countries was 70 years, and nearly 60 years of age for those with severe learning disability.
Integrated Work Opportunities for Adults with Severe Handicaps: The Extended Training Option
One major reason why those adults with the most severe intellectual handicaps are prevented from performing meaningful work in nonsheltered environments is the requirement that they cannot do so
The Critical Need for Nonschool Instruction in Educational Programs for Severely Handicapped Students
A brief historical review of educational service delivery models for severely handicapped students is provided, six learning and performance characteristics and some of their educational implications
More than a job : securing satisfying careers for people with disabilities
This book transforms ''job placement'' into ''c areer counseling'' for people with physical and developmental disabilities. It presents step-by-step guidelines for helpi ng people with disabilities
The stories of Lou Brown
  • 2005
The stories of Lou Brown. Bloomington: University of IndianaYThe Forum on Education. Retrieved from and edu/rpse/faculty/lbrown
  • 2005
Trends in outcomes for young people with disabilities: Have policies aimed at social integration and economic independence been effective?
  • 2003