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ERIC Number: EJ932741
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0889-7018
Six Degrees of Separation and Employment: Disability Services Reconsidered
Stensrud, Robert; Sover-Wright, Ehren; Gilbride, Dennis
Rehabilitation Education, v23 n2 p97-106 2009
If six degrees of separation is all that is needed for anyone to find anyone else, and if three clicks can find almost anything on the World Wide Web, perhaps analyzing how social networks form and connect people to each other offers a useful way to reconsider how the rehabilitation profession pursues job placement and employer development. Social network analysis offers a way to examine how rehabilitation professionals currently engage in job placement and employer development and provides empirical methodologies to demonstrate that who people know is more important than what they know. Dependence on public services becomes a possible unintended consequence of the socialization model of disability services. Social networks involve exchanges of value that are reciprocal. Each person has something of value to offer another person. Any variation from this fundamental belief involves asymmetrical interactions. Professional services, offered by paid providers to people who have proven themselves eligible for services, are almost by definition asymmetrical. Participation in inclusive school and work settings, engagement in community activities, and getting a paycheck are ways people learn they are of value and bring equivalency to relationships. People, even with very significant disabilities, can contribute and work. To be successful, both consumers and rehabilitation providers need to be in the network expansion business, widening and expanding social connectedness and creating bridges to vocational opportunity.
National Council on Rehabilitation Education. California State University, 5005 North Maple Avenue M/S ED 3, Fresno, CA 93740. Tel: 559-906-0787; Fax: 559-412 2550; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A