Providing quality employment services to people living with asthma in the vocational rehabilitation program: A model for meeting the needs of an emerging clientele

Phillip D. Rumrill, Judiann Mc Crone Romeo, Kimberly Wickert, Kathleen Sheppard-Jones, Sara Park, Juliet Souders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: With incidence and prevalence rates of asthma diagnoses steadily increasing in the United States and worldwide over the past 30 years, people with asthma are an emerging vocational rehabilitation (VR) consumer population. OBJECTIVE: This article describes the job acquisition and return to work considerations facing employees with asthma. METHODS: Following an overview of the etiology, incidence, prevalence, and career development implications of this chronic respiratory disease, the authors present career preparatory and return to work recommendations to meet the needs of Americans with asthma across the phases of the VR process. RESULTS: The importance of access to quality healthcare, lifestyle, and environmental modifications to promote respiratory health, employer consultation, workplace accommodations and universal design, and interface with medical and mental health professionals is emphasized throughout the article. CONCLUSION: Asthma is an emerging disability that disproportionally affects people of color and people who live in poverty. Rehabilitation professionals must be prepared to meet the needs of this growing and diverse clientele as people with asthma seek assistance from the VR program in acquiring, maintaining, and advancing in meaningful, satisfying employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 13 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The contents of this article were developed, in part, under a grant from the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment, H264K200003, from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and readers should not assume endorsement by the Federal government. The preparation of this article was also partly funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration under a grant award of $21,600,000 to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training that will be incrementally provided. 100% of grant funding is from U.S. Federal funds. Here again, this article does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor or the Social Security Administration, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 - IOS Press. All rights reserved.


  • Vocational guidance
  • rehabilitation research
  • respiratory diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Providing quality employment services to people living with asthma in the vocational rehabilitation program: A model for meeting the needs of an emerging clientele'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this