Promoting Career Design and Development via Telehealth for Rural Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Dole building on a sunny summer day with blue sky and clouds.

This project examines the feasibility, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of implementing a career design intervention using telehealth for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who live in rural areas. The goal of this project is to evaluate effective services delivered via telehealth to promote employment for people waiting for formal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) services in Kansas. The intervention uses the Self-Determined Career Design Model (SDCDM), an evidence-based intervention designed for people with IDD. Researchers have demonstrated that the SDCDM is effective in promoting self-determination and employment. The objectives are (1) train facilitators to implement the SDCDM via telehealth; (2) randomly assign participants to waitlist control or intervention groups; (3) deliver the SDCDM via telehealth to the intervention group for two years and the waitlist control group in year 2; and (4) evaluate and disseminate the results. Anticipated outcomes include: (1) enhanced employment and self determination of adults with IDD; (2) enhanced cost-effectiveness of delivering the intervention via telehealth; and (3) documented best practices for using telehealth with adults with IDD. Project outputs include one manuscript documenting the comparative effectiveness of the SDCDM via telehealth, a manuscript describing replicated effectiveness when the waitlist control group receives the intervention, training materials that incorporate lessons learned in the telehealth intervention, and increased community capacity in terms of a group of facilitators who are trained to deliver an evidence-based career development intervention.

Project details

  • Primary Investigator: Evan Dean

  • Project start Date: 09/01/2020

  • Project finish Date: 08/31/2023



  • National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research

  • Award Number: 90IFRE0039