Collaborative Research - Quality Outcomes
Collaborative Research - Quality Outcomes

Work and Productivity

The work and productivity studies led by the MAPS team focus on how active participation can be enhanced through training and innovative employment programs, and how engagement in productivity options foster social inclusion.

Key Findings

  • Analysis of data in the ODSP database revealed that just 17.5% of recipients were working, and there are indications that a portion of those were working at less than minimum wage.
    • 38% of survey respondents had been employed at minimum wage or better at some time during their lives, but it was revealed through interviews that it many cases, that employment was short lived.
    • Individuals residing in rural areas reported significantly lower rates of high school attendance and employment than did other survey respondents
    • Females are less likely to achieve paid employment than are males
    • The only predictor of paid vs. unpaid employment was the individual’s level of daily functioning as measured by the Scales of Independent Behavior – Revised.
    • Many interview respondents reported having had very little choice in job placements while they were in vocational preparation programs, most of the options having been determined by caregivers or teachers.
    • Based on our multi-stage study, best practices in moving people with ID forward to productive engagement include:
      • Individualized, vocationally-focused high school education
      • Vocational training and supports
      • A strong match between worker and workplace, whether in paid or unpaid job, and a key facilitator (e.g. teacher, counsellor, employer or parent) to identify and oversee the matching process


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New guidelines available for agencies operating social businesses in the intellectual and developmental disability sector

Current Projects

    • We are currently seeking to advance knowledge on education and productivity through intervention studies in education, training, and innovation in employment support programs.
    • 2014-2016, funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
    • Principal investigator: Rebecca Gewurtz, Queen’s University
    • Co-investigators are: Bonnie Kirsh, University of Toronto, Rosemary Lysaght, Queen’s University & Rob Wilton
    • This study focuses on investigating the needs of clients in one community agency, their caregivers, agency staff and administration, regarding the development of a community-based employment program for service users with an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD). Through participant interviews and focus groups, the researcher will gather information regarding community participation of clients, training and support required to allow clients with IDD to work, as well the models of employment that best suit client needs. This assessment will also seek to understand what stakeholders believe should be the agency’s role in community-employment.
    • No Funding
    • Rachel Maislin is conducting this research for her M.Sc thesis in Rehabilitation Science, under the supervision of Rosemary Lysaght (2015-17).

Past Projects

    • (2013-2015), funded by an Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, Policy Research and Analysis Branch Research Grant
    • Principal Investigator: Rosemary Lysaght, co-principal investigator, Terry Krupa, Queen’s University.

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MAPS Research

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