Category: International; Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)
Objective : To conduct a formative evaluation of Phase 1 of the Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability Employment (PRIDE) program, a federally-funded intervention including culturally-appropriate, bilingual employment trainings to 50 job-seeking refugees with disabilities in Illinois.
Design : A mixed methods evaluation design comprising qualitative case notes and pre- and post-intervention surveys.
Setting : Community-based settings in collaboration with disability and refugee-serving agencies, city colleges, and workforce centers.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : Using a referred sampling strategy, 27 refugee adults with disabilities with work authorization in the U.S. have been recruited to date.
Of these, all but one have completed the program, and 14 have completed pre and post-intervention surveys for Phase 1. Average age of participants is 40.9 years (range 25-72), with 3 participants identifying as female and 10 as male. Participants represent a wide range of disabilities including physical impairments, sensory impairments, and mental health conditions.
PRIDE includes three phases.The first phase (3-4 weeks), is an employment training involving 3 group workshops staggered with individual person-centered planning sessions. Phase 2 involves opening cases with PRIDE's core partners to connect participants to employment-related resources. In Phase 3, participants are connected with additional resources and employers, depending on their individual employment pathways.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Questionnaires were developed to measure perceived helpfulness of Phase I group trainings and partipiants' self-efficacy and knowledge pertaining to disability and employment-related resources and policies in the U.S.
Results : Majority of the participants (12/14) found the content of PRIDE's Phase 1 group trainings very helpful. Nearly all participants (12/14) would recommend the training sessions to others. Participants' knowledge scores increased from 6.7 (s.d.=2.6) pre-intervention to 8.1 (s.d.=2.9) post-intervention (maximum possible score =13). Before trainings, participants' average self-efficacy rating for taking the steps necessary to achieve their desired job was 54.9 (s.d.=29.9) on a scale from 1-100. Post-training, the average rating increased to 62.7 (s.d.=34.5). Common barriers to employment include lack of timely and linguistically-appropriate access to key services (e.g. Social Security benefits counseling).
Conclusions : Phase 1 of the PRIDE program was acceptable to participants and shows promise for increasing self-efficacy and knowledge pertaining to disability and employment-related topics. The extent to which these improvements translate to positive employment outcomes needs to be evaluated upon completion of all phases of the program with the target sample of 50 participants.
Mansha Mirza– Associate Professor and Co-PI of PRIDE, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Rooshey Hasnain– Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Disability and Human Development and the Rehabilitation Sciences Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Kathryn Duke– Program Manager, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Sumithra Murthy– Senior Research Associate, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois