Supported employment, by definition, assumes the need for ongoing support. Despite this, assumptions inherent within regulations and policies of federal and state rehabilitation systems appear to be at variance with this definition: Job placement is viewed as final and support is temporary. Consequently, retraining and replacement services following the termination of a job are an afterthought, job change is equated with failure, and retraining is a reaction to this failure. In contrast, models of career development for the general population assume that changing jobs is an integral part of career development. In this paper we have applied this more normative view of career development to the rehabilitation system and the provision of supported employment.

Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by Grant No. 90DN0009 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, and Grant No. H129K40001 from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitative Services Administration. No official endorsement should be inferred.

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