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

    • Using data collected by MAPS through a survey sent to 12,000 ODSP recipients across 3 regions of Ontario, this project studies whether there is a link between high school completion and employability of persons with IDD. Preliminary analysis suggests that completion of high school with a regular diploma as opposed to a certificate of accomplishment has a stronger link with obtaining employment at or above minimum wage, but not as strongly as participation in some form of work preparation program. This may be because these programs could be accompanied with placement opportunities whereas high school completion is not. There is virtually no research in the field of economics on the employability of persons with IDD. This research will hopefully create more interest in this field and lead to better outcomes for persons with IDD.
    • David Lauzon is completing an MA in Economics at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Rosemary Lysagth
    • 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 investigated the needs of clients in one community agency, and their caregivers, agency staff and administration regarding the development of employment programs for service users with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through interviews and focus groups with this varied group of stakeholders, including clients who have indicated interest in employment as a form of community participation, this evaluation determined that the full spectrum of vocational preparation, work opportunities, and supports for community-based employment are needed to meet that diverse needs of the population served. The results of this evaluation highlight that when considering future employment opportunities, personal comfort, reimbursement, community engagement, socialization and availability of work supports were all important to clients with IDD. In addition, this assessment discussed the barriers that hinder the agency’s development of community-based employment services.-Organizational barriers: a lack of adequate resources, infrastructure, lack of assessments, staff skills set, etc.) and the attitudes of service providers,-Structural barriers: The limited knowledge of ODSP rules, short term employment support services (e.g. job coaches) and the MCSS’ goal of payment of at least minimum wage for people with disabilities.Future organizational initiatives should focus on building internal resources, partnering with other community organizations and using creative strategies to address the broad range of needs.
    • 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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