Vocational Rehabilitation Training Simulation for the Psychiatrically Disabled

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Amount:
$109,197.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
1R43MH080496-01A2
Solitcitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Number:
PHS2007-2
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2008
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
MH080496
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Small Business Information
SIMMERSION, LLC.
SIMMERSION, LLC., 9861 BROKEN LAND PKWY, STE 200, COLUMBIA, MD, 21046
Hubzone Owned:
Y
Woman Owned:
Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Y
Duns:
128822736
Principal Investigator
 DALE OLSEN
 (443) 283-2504
 DALE.OLSEN@SIMMERSION.COM
Business Contact
Phone: (443) 283-2555
Email: laura.boteler@simmersion.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Inactivity and loss of productive function commonly accompany severe psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, other psychotic disorders, mood disorders, PTSD). Yet, surveys (Becker, 2002) indicate that more than 75 pe rcent of people with these disorders wish to return to some kind of productive activity. However, when they attempt to return to work, they often have no access to appropriate employment. SIMmersion LLC, in cooperation with Dr. Morris Bell, proposes to add ress this issue by developing a computer-based, interactive, role-play training simulation to facilitate vocational rehabilitation for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. The job interview is the most common first hurdle to be overcome on the way to paid employment. Preparing individuals adequately for job interviews will allow them to emphasize their employment strengths and negotiate appropriate working conditions, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will be able to obtain jobs they can kee p. Users who play the proposed simulation will be able to participate in a simulated job interview and practice negotiating various topics, including qualifications, compensation, and schedule. Users will also have the opportunity to practice with disclosu re and non-disclosure of disability to evaluate the results of both in a risk-free, simulated environment. The proposed training simulation will provide trainees with immediate and consistent coaching and feedback while allowing them the opportunity for re peated practice and application of skills. A large body of research supports the efficacy of learning-based interventions for people with psychiatric disabilities, which almost always include role-play exercises. To date, there is no standardized training method available for people with psychiatric disabilities that focus on role-playing job interviews. Public Health Relevance: Improving access to employment for people with disabilities is of great societal benefit. It provides clients with monetary and ps ychological benefits and reintegrates them into mainstream society. Society benefits from regaining the productive potential of people who may otherwise be marginalized and from increasing the diversity of our nation's workforce.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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