Topics: employment services, transitioning youth, underserved and intersectional disability communities


Learn about the overall rehabilitation needs of Pennsylvanians with disabilities to inform the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and Pennsylvania State Plan.  

Key Findings from 2019-2022

  1. People in rural areas, people with mental health needs, and people who are blind or visually impaired are among the most underserved by VR services.
  2. Employment and employment services are also impacted by lack of internet access, digital devices, and reliable transportation.
  3. Supported Employment training improves service provision but is cost-prohibitive.

Findings are published in an annual and three-year comprehensive report for OVR to inform the State Plan.


Supported by Pennsylvania’s OVR and in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council (PaRC).


Since 2014, OVR has contracted the Institute on Disabilities to conduct the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) to inform the State Plan and meet the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and WIOA. The CSNA addresses the employment service needs of Pennsylvanians with disabilities, specifically the needs of:

  • Transition-age youth and students
  • Multiply marginalized communities
  • Unserved or underserved communities
  • People served by other parts of the statewide workforce investment employment system
  • People for community rehabilitation programs and supported employment

Every cycle, the CSNA also examines spotlight issues like the opioid crisis, transportation, and the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and long-COVID symptoms.

Data and Analysis

New data is collected from mixed methods surveys, interviews, and focus groups with disabled people, families, service providers, VR staff, employers, school staff, community organizations, and other interested people. These results are integrated with information from existing sources, including statistical, population, OVR and PaRC agency, and IOD data sources. Quantitative and qualitative data are analyzed and crosswalked to produce findings responsive to the RSA requirements and make recommendations.

Contact: Please email or call Eva Weiss at 215-204-7177 with any questions or concerns.