Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Perceived strengths and weaknesses in employment policies and services among people with multiple sclerosis: Results of a national survey.

Rumrill, J. P. D., Roessler, R. T., Hennessey, M. L., Vierstra, C., Pugsley, E., & Pittman, A. (2000). "Perceived strengths and weaknesses in employment policies and services among people with multiple sclerosis: Results of a national survey." Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 21(1): 25-36.

More than 1,300 individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) responded to an employment concerns survey. The results from this survey served as the topics of discussion for seven focus groups including people with MS and service providers in four states. Recommendations to improve the employment outcomes of people with MS that emerged from these discussions clustered in three areas: employment policies and practices, Social Security benefits, and healthcare. Strategies for preserving strengths in employment supports for people with MS clustered in two areas, access to respectful service providers and personal control.

Surveying the employment concerns of people with multiple sclerosis: A participatory action research approach.

Rumrill, J. P. D., Roessler, R. T., & Koch, L. C. (1999). "Surveying the employment concerns of people with multiple sclerosis: A participatory action research approach." Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 12(2): 75-82.

Describes the results of a survey of the employment concerns reported by a random sample of 227 people (aged 20-79 yrs) with multiple sclerosis (MS). From an item pool generated in previous research, Ss identified 34 employment concerns as most reflective of the career development implications of MS. Survey respondents considered each item along 2 dimensions, the importance of the item to career development and their satisfaction with the adequacy of services to address that concern. Results regarding high importance items indicated that Ss were most satisfied with issues such as health insurance coverage, potential to work and take control of their lives, wages and benefits, and workplace accommodations. Ss were most dissatisfied with issues including fair treatment by employers in the hiring process, access to service providers who understand their needs, access to adequate information about Social Security programs, optimism regarding their future, and issues related to re-entering the workforce. Implications for vocational rehabilitation practice and future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Multiple sclerosis and workplace discrimination: The national EEOC ADA research project.

Rumrill, P. D., Roessler, R. T., McMahon, B. T., & Fitzgerald, S. M. (2005). "Multiple sclerosis and workplace discrimination: The national EEOC ADA research project." Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 23(3): 179-187.

Information from the Integrated Mission System of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was used to investigate the employment discrimination experience of Americans with multiple sclerosis (MS) in comparison to Americans with other physical, sensory, and neurological impairments. Specifically, the researchers examined demographic characteristics of the charging parties; the industry designation, location, and size of employers against whom allegations were filed; the nature of discrimination (i.e., type of adverse action) alleged to occur; and the legal outcome or resolution of these allegations. Findings indicate that persons with MS were younger than the comparison group and comparatively overrepresented by Caucasians and women. People with MS were proportionally more likely than the comparison group to allege discrimination related to reasonable accommodations, terms or conditions of employment, constructive discharge, and demotion. People with MS were proportionally more likely than the comparison group to file allegations against employers in the service and financial/insurance/real estate industries, employers with 500 or more workers, and employers in the North United States Census region. People with MS were proportionally more likely than the comparison group to receive merit resolutions as a result of the EEOC's Americans with Disabilities Act Title I investigatory process. Implications for policy and advocacy are addressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Workplace barriers and job satisfaction among employed people with multiple sclerosis: An empirical rationale for early intervention.

Rumrill, P., Roessler, R., Vierstra, C., Hennessey, M., & Staples, L. (2004). "Workplace barriers and job satisfaction among employed people with multiple sclerosis: An empirical rationale for early intervention." Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 20(3): 177-183.

This article presents findings pertinent to the relationship between on-the-job barriers and job satisfaction among employed people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Fifty-nine adults with MS (N = 59), who self-initiated a telephone call to an employment hotline for assistance in managing their MS on the job, participated in structured job accommodation interviews (Work Experience Survey - WES). Respondents reported few worksite accessibility problems, a moderate number of performance difficulties, few job mastery problems, and relatively high levels of job satisfaction. Restricted range in the job mastery variable precluded its contribution to the hypothesized regression equation predicting job satisfaction, but the total number of worksite accessibility and essential function barriers correlated significantly and negatively with job satisfaction (r = -0.33, r^2 = 0.11, p < 0.015). A rationale for early intervention to reduce workplace barriers is presented, grounded in these findings and career development theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)