Tuesday, January 5, 2016

VR Services Reform Study Notes - ADA Compliance

This collection of notes involves in themes and points of focus and consequently includes some repetition.

[Last updated: July 28, 2015; first draft published Jul. 17, 2015]

1. High IQ and Vocational Rehabilitation

A) High IQ and Vocational Potential

• “Individuals in the top 5 percent of the adult IQ distribution (above IQ 125) can essentially train themselves, and few occupations are beyond their reach mentally. Persons of average IQ (between 90 and 110) are not competitive for most professional and executive-level work but are easily trained for the bulk of jobs in the American economy.”

[Linda S. Gottfredson, The General Intelligence Factor,”: Scientific American Presents 9 (4): 24–29. (1998)]

• “People with low and high IQ scores can work almost any job at almost any level. But it becomes increasingly difficult to perform well in very complex or fluid jobs (such as management in an ambiguous, changing, unpredictable fields) with a lower IQ. An IQ over 115 places no restrictions on what you can do.”

[Eric Goldschein and Kim Bhasin, “11 Uncomfortable Facts About How IQ Affects Your Life,” Business Insider, Nov. 22, 2011]

B) High IQ & ADD/ADHA – diagnostics; false negative

Fact: “Hervey, Epstein, and Curry (2004) reviewed 33 published studies and found that current neuropsychological tests are not sensitive enough to pick up ADHD symptoms in adults.” [Brown et al. (2009) see note below]

Some psychologists (Ph.D) specialists in conducting Vocational Assessments are unaware of the problems of psychometric exams with respect to ADD/ADHD. Even when presented with a client diagnosed by a seasoned Ph.D psychotherapist with ADD/ADHD and who is found by the evaluator’s own assessment to possess an IQ of “very superior” rank the evaluator will assume – based on lack of knowledge of the professional literature on the disagnostic problem – that the lack of indicators within the standard battery of texts is the “final word” on the validity of the client’s previously documented diagnosis.

Thus the assessment report passed on to other professionals involved in the Vocational Rehabilitation process will make the logical effort of assuming that the evaluator’s statement that testing produced no indication of ADD/ADHD that this lack of affirmation should be interpreted as a definitive rejection of the ADD/ADHD diagnosis. This error will then, it should be no surprise to hear, produce a cascade of distorted, inappropriate assumptions which undermine the VR process: a seriously damaging distortion resulting from a false assumption based on a false negative resulting from lack of knowledge (and lack of due curiosity regarding the literature on the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD through psychometric instruments).

[Hervey, A. S., Epstein J. N., & Curry J. F. (2004). Neuropsychology of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A meta-analytic review. Neuropsychology, 18, 485-503]

[Thomas E. Brown, et al., “Executive Function Impairments in High IQ Adults With ADHD,” Yale University School of Medicine, Journal of Attention Disorders Online, First, published on May 6, 2009]

[Thomas E Brown Ph.D., “The Mysteries of ADD and High IQ: The five truths about attention deficit disorder,” Psychology Today, Aug 16, 2011]

C) High IQ – Underserved by the Vocational Rehabilitation Profession?

There is a question as to whether Vocational Counselors individually, and State agency policies in general, may be ether passively or actively failing to serve high IQ clients. Is there an in-built bias against high IQ clients within the VR industry? Do High IQ clients as a class constitute an “underserved” group. Are such clients subjected to widespread negative discrimination?

From an account by a client (“consumer”) of her experiences with the Vocational Rehabilitation system:

“The VESID counselors are so busy taking care of the ordinary that there is no time for the extraordinary.  You want to know what the problem is?  Being smart is an aberration and us aberrant beings don’t get served.  That observation is called “applying abstract reasoning to complex social relationships.” 

[Anne C. Woodlen, “Tabula Rasa” by VESID (part II), Anne C Woodlen: Notes in Passing (blog), Oct. 2, 2010]

The client writes of her diagnosis (abilities plus disabilities):

“About ten months ago, I got diagnosed with this learning disability, which I never knew I had even though it had kept me unsuccessful all my life.  Seven years ago, a neuropsychologist (who has Asperger’s syndrome) did some testing, reported that I have an I.Q. of 139 and failed everything because I was “poorly motivated, bored and engaged in avoidance.”  Ten months ago, I got some new testing.  The doctor (who has attention deficit disorder) diagnosed me with this executive function learning disability and said that I “demonstrated fierce motivation and tenacity to obtain [my] goals despite how difficult it was for [me] to be successful . . .” [Woodlen]

Perhaps VR agencies are populated with providers who are committed to “averageness.” It is clear that individuals whose IQ is two orders of magnitude above the mean represent only about 2.7% of the total population. This population is expected to be rather more successful than the other segments (97.3%) of IQ distribution. Thus the population of clients of VR service providers can be expected to constitute a tiny fraction of the total cases – far less than 1%. The larger share of VR cases, persons of below IQ 100, will, it is presumed be seen as in need of serviced that would in essence “push” them toward functionality that is IQ 100 (the mean). The mean being the optimum measure of functionality. May this protocol (which I hypothesize) of “pushing” individuals of less than 100 IQ towards the mean (the left-hand of the bell curve), be mirrored on the right-hand side. Might perhaps the conscious – or unconscious – protocol of VR counselors be predicated on an imperative that requires or favors the pushing of their High IQ clients towards the mean, to “fit in,” to be function as normative (intellectually average) in terms of the functioning and intellectual/cognitive capacity?

Are High IQ clients being treated by VR professionals in such a way that services, recommendations, evaluation protocols, are geared, or even coordinated, to effectively pushing them downward – towards the mean, in an effort to “help” them to be “normal” (cognitively average). And is resistance on the part of the client to the “pushing” seen as yet an additional sign of pathology by VR professionals?

Hypothesis: Dragging down one group and lifting up another. – Could there be a latent desire (perhaps fueled by a misapplication of notions of “equality” employed perversely to denote sameness in behavior and aptitude, rather than properly to denote equality of opportunity) on the part of VR professionals, expressed in their models, methods, programs, and evaluation techniques to drag down those VR clients (a tiny minority of the total population of VR clients) who populate the right-hand side of the IQ bell curve, while at the same time exhibiting a sincere effort to lift up those populating the left hand?

Are Vocational Rehabilitation professionals inadvertently, or in some cases, deliberately, taking a VR client who has “gifted” or “very superior IQ,” persons who are capable of complex “fluid” thinking, and then implementing a series of actions (services), or inaction (denial of services) that would, in effect, attempt to make the client more disabled after implementation of VR treatments, than the client was before exposure to the VR system?

We might consider these questions in light of this observation: “… a sustained pattern of repeated errors, insensitive behaviors can cause psychological damage to clients.” [Dean Hepworth, Ronald Rooney, Glenda Dewberry Rooney, Kim Strom-Gottfried, Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills, 9th Edition (Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series), Brooks/Cole, 2013, pp. 556-7]

My hypothesis that there might exist a unwritten policy, or a tendency at least, to unjustifiably and inappropriately “push” High IQ VR consumers towards the mean – a practice that clearly is harmful to the consumer in terms of both process and outcome – should be named the VR “mean push” hypothesis.

D) On “curing” the “abnormality” of giftedness; the “Nurse Ratched Syndrome”

Regarding bias against High IQ individuals:

Based on research on cultural variations: “Western Society does associate a stigma with being gifted. They [Westerners] do not feel it’s innate [that giftedness is innate]. They [researchers] feel that Westerners look down upon anything that is not considered normal, and try to change gifted individuals to become more of a [normative type]. Whereas other cultures … Eastern Europe, … Asian societies, … respect those people more because they feel it is an inborn gift.” [Jennifer Carl, Valencia College, video]

In the context of Vocational Rehabilitation we see in cases where the counselor maintains a crude adherence to the “averageness ideal” a tendency to attempt to assert control over the client by treating the client as a patient rather than a consumer. Inadequacy of knowledge and skills on the part of the counselor my easily inspire a “face saving” tactic that serves the desire to control the client that can be expressed as:

”When in doubt, pathologize.”

Thus rather than focusing on the individual’s needs on a whole person basis, the focus shifts to categorizing, putting the client “in a box” which allows the counselor to feel control and to try to lead the client on the narrow pre-ordained path established by the set of modular “programs” that the counselor is trained to deploy – and which allows the counselor to follow his or her preferred comfortable routine.

This can be called the “Nurse Ratched Syndrome” (after the famous fictional character in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”).

The Nurse Ratched Syndrome flows from a moral hazard that is intrinsic to the practitioner/client relationship whenever such client might be subject to any psychological diagnosis that might in any way affect the quality, shape and promptness of delivery of the services sought or needed by the client. The power relation between provider and client is imbalanced in the extreme, with the provider holding largely unaccountable and unmonitored broad discretionary power over the client. The client is thus in a position where any evaluative communication on his part regarding quality of services -- whether complaint, request, demand or criticism -- can be used against him by a provider for self-serving motives, interpreting any unwanted communication on the client's part as "evidence" of an expression of pathology. Such a situation lends itself to reinforcement of personal, ideological or institutional bias and to the convenient cover-up of unethical, incompetent and unprofessional behavior on the part of a provider. Many clients, who are, by definition, of a stigmatized status, are aware of this ever-present danger and that awareness can effect the case progress and outcome adversely, often to a dramatic degree.

E) Expanding vistas vs. Constricting vistas

The VR “mean push” is predicated on an ideal goal of promoting averageness or sameness, rather than in seeking individualized suitability in the true, legally required, sense (“whole person” sense). It does not essentially fail or harm clients who can be seen as “below the mean” in cognitive ability (as well as skills) on the bell curve to be pushed towards functionality resembling the mean. This is an approach that seeks to expand vistas. Yet the “mean push” when applied to “above the mean” in cognitive ability, the approach is harmful in that it seeks to constrict vistas rather than expand them. The “mean push” while seeming to be predicated upon a concept of aggregate (society-wide) “equality” it in fact is seeking coerced sameness, and in fact treats individual members of different classes inequally. 

F) Failed Reform – Violating the “Uniqueness” mandate

It is clear from a 1997 Federal effort to clarify the intentions, requirements and legal obligations defined in the ADA statutes with respect to Vocational Rehabilitation that Federal officials recognized only too well that States accepting Federal funding for State VR programs were doing so in bad faith and were engaged in violations of ADA requirements:

From Hager:

The 1997 policy was, in part, a response to the fact that many state VR agencies would not approve the training and other services needed to allow a person to maximize employment potential. RSA's clear change in policy is best expressed in the following quote from the August 1997 Policy Directive:

“The guidance provided through this Policy Directive is intended to correct the misperception that achievement of an employment goal under Title I of the Act can be equated with becoming employed at any job. As indicated above, the State VR Services program is not intended solely to place individuals with disabilities in entry-level jobs, but rather to assist eligible individuals to obtain employment that is appropriate given their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities. The extent to which State units should assist eligible individuals to advance in their careers through the provision of VR services depends upon whether the individual has achieved employment that is consistent with this standard (emphasis added).” [Hager, quoting federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Policy Directive, RSA-PD-97-04, August 19, 1997]

We should not that the language here underscores the idea of “individualized” services, by introducing the adjective “unique,” used in the text to qualify the following six crucial terms:

1) (unique) strengths
2) (unique) resources
3) (unique) priorities
4) (unique) concerns
5) (unique) abilities
6) (unique) capabilities

In 2015 it is clear that some states have deliberately established policies that are designed to undermine consumers’ possibility of achieving proper outcomes (under ADA funded requirements), policies that create misleading Vocational Evaluations (DVE) and other policies that block the VR process from providing individualized services that “assist eligible individuals to obtain employment that is appropriate given their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities.”

Instead, these states blatantly violate Federally required “informed consent,” refuse to and allow consumers to be fully involved in planning and selection of services, and unlawful push the consumer into “any job,” despite the 1997 directive’s clear language.

Further, the deliberateness of these policies that result in systematic civil violations are reinforced by the very agency that was established by Federal law to prevent them from happening: “CAP” (Client Assistance Program). State CAP agencies create a roadblock that offers the illusion of due process, yet block consumers from learning their rights under Federal ADA law and fails to hold VR agencies accountable for incompetence, extreme (unlawful) delays, deceptiveness on the part of individual counselors and misfeasance in general.

2. Vocational Counselors: Ethics and Competence

A) Bias & Ethical lapses

Quotations disclosing inappropriate approach or support for policies not complying with ADA:

• “It doesn’t have to be capitalism.” (MH) – Vocational Counselor’s a State VR agency: statement to a non-profit Vocational placement specialist at a non-profit certified vendor. Statement was in response to a consumer’s description of a work ethic approach to be communicated to prospective (for profit) employers whereby the job-seeker would emphasize a conscientious engagement with adding value to the employer’s firm, deliberately geared increasing revenue, profit and reputation for highest quality service. (2014)

B) Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation (DVE) – Bias, Blindspot, Incompleteness of Data Collection

• “We don’t measure reading proficiency [or writing proficiency] above college freshman level because people who are at that level or higher have more options.” (SS) – Paraphrase of statement made by Vocational Counselor (Evaluator) employed by a non-profit service provider (“vendor”). (2015)

• “[We don’t measure reading proficiency or writing proficiency above college freshman level because] if, during the evaluation process, one consumer learns that another has a higher score than themselves it might have an adverse effect emotionally.” – Paraphrase of statement made by Consumer Advocacy Program (CAP) advocate employed by a State agency to assist VR consumers in receiving services and understanding their legal rights. (2015)

C) Political bias against a targeted class of clients

“It doesn’t have to be capitalism” was the complaint leveled by a State Vocational Counselor against the employment goal of that counselor’s client [MH, 2014]. There is more to this inappropriate statement (and seriously unethical gesture) than meets the ear.

It is important to consider how a social worker who has been indoctrinated into the political theories of “social justice” – an ideological position that is noted for its extreme bias towards “social constructionist” explanations of differences between individuals and equally intense predilection for ignoring hard science explanations of major factors governing difference (biology, genetics, chemistry) – might attempt, whether consciously or not to promote his or her notion of “social justice” through discouraging the client from seeking achievement, excellence, individual achievement, economic success (under “capitalism”), or any other of many aspects of the employment goal that would be suitable for the client’s achievement that is consistent with that person’s “unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities,” as is required by law.

Here is an example of the prevalent politicization of social work pedagogy that seeks to single out a targeted class (“white heterosexual male” clients) for different treatment (pressuring the client to “change” to conform to the social worker’s political ideology):

“For example, it would be important for a White heterosexual male therapist to be aware of how his positionality might influence his work with a White heterosexual couple in ways that might blind him to how societal structures are privileging the needs of the male partner, over the needs of the female partner, and lead him to align with the male partner’s view of the relationship.”

[Thomas Stone Carlson & Christi R. McGeorge, North Dakota State University, “Social Justice Mentoring: Preparing Family Therapists for Social Justice Advocacy Work,” Michigan Family Review, Volume 14, Issue 1, 2010]

The authors’ specious ideology-based claim that “societal structures are privileging the needs of the male partner, over the needs of the female partner” is presented by the professor as fact, rather than as an example of “critical gender theory” polemics, designed to promote a political notion of a path towards utopia rather than as a description of reality (bias against fathers, widespread family court fraud, work-place deaths, male genital mutilation, military conscription, etc.).

In the subjective, non-scientific political ideology – or more properly, the cluster of ideological positions (“social justice,” “social change”) – that are now being promoted in many of the training programs that prepare social workers for service employment, the profile of  the “white heterosexual male” is singled out for triple-scrutiny as a class of person who is to be treated with suspicion, as a member of a class to be targeted for political “reform” – along lines that are consistent with the political preferences of the social worker who has adopted “social justice” activism (“Cultural Marxism,” “critical theory,” etc.) as an integral part of practice.

It is not unreasonable to assume that bias – both institutional and exercised by individual politicized social workers – against VR clients who are, in essence, members of a “pariah class,” and who need to be politically or ideologically “changed” or reformed, is widespread and has infected many agencies.



3. Civil Rights Violations – Non-Compliance of State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies

A superb study of state agencies’ failure non-compliance with ADA legal requirements was published in 1999:

Ronald M. Hager, Esq., “State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies & Their Obligation to Maximize Employment,” July 1999, Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.

Following are selected quotations from Hager 1999 unless otherwise noted:


A) Highest Level of Achievement

The court noted that the intent of Congress, in adding the maximization language, was: [T]o establish a program which would provide services to assist clients in achieving their highest level of achievement or a goal which is consistent with their maximum capacities and abilities. Id. at 365. [reference to Buchanan v. Ives, 793 F.Supp. 361 (D. Me. 1991)]

B) Informed Choice

It has been the policy of the VR system that all activities are to be implemented consistent with the principles of “respect for individual dignity, personal responsibility, self-determination, and pursuit of meaningful careers, based on informed choice, of individuals with disabilities.” Id. § 701(c)(1) [reference to: USC (United States Code)] (emphasis added).

Rehab’98 revolutionizes informed choice. VR agencies must assist individuals in their exercise of informed choice throughout the VR process, including the assessment, selection of an employment outcome, the specific VR services to be provided, the entity which will provide the services, the method for procuring services and the setting in which the services will be provided. Id. §§ 720(a)(3)(C) and 722(d)(1)-(5). The VR agency must still approve the IPE, but the individual decides the level of involvement, if any, of the VR counselor in developing the IPE. Id. §§ 722(b)(1)(A) and 722(b)(2)(C). [references to: USC (United States Code)]

C) Maximum, maximize  – “maximize employability”; “Maximum capacities and abilities”; “maximize employment potential”

“Congress has stated that VR services are to empower individuals to maximize employability, economic self-sufficiency, independence and integration into the work place and the community through “comprehensive and coordinated state-of-the-art programs.” Id. § 701(b)” [reference to USC (United States Code)] (emphasis added)

The court noted that the intent of Congress, in adding the maximization language, was: [T]o establish a program which would provide services to assist clients in achieving their highest level of achievement or a goal which is consistent with their maximum capacities and abilities. Id. at 365.” [reference to Buchanan v. Ives, 793 F.Supp. 361 (D. Me. 1991)]

“Consistent with the increased statutory obligations placed on state VR agencies, on August 19, 1997, the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) issued a Policy Directive, RSA-PD-97-04. This directive requires state VR agencies to approve vocational goals and the services to meet these goals to enable persons with disabilities to maximize their employment potential. It represents a dramatic shift in RSA policy.”

The 1997 policy was [requiring “‘suitable employment’ as the standard’] , in part, a response to the fact that many state VR agencies would not approve the training and other services needed to allow a person to maximize employment potential. [see: E) Suitable – “suitable employment” below]

D) Self-sufficiency – “economic self-sufficiency”

“Congress has stated that VR services are to empower individuals to maximize employability, economic self-sufficiency, independence and integration into the work place and the community through “comprehensive and coordinated state-of-the-art programs.” Id. § 701(b)” [reference to USC (United States Code)] (emphasis added) 

E) Suitable – “suitable employment”

The August 1997 Policy Directive concerns the “employment goal” for an individual with a disability. It rescinds a 1980 policy and describes the standard for determining an employment goal under Title I. RSA’s 1980 policy, 1505-PQ-100-A, identified “suitable employment” as the standard for determining an appropriate vocational goal for an individual with a disability. In that policy and in an earlier, 1978 policy (1505-PQ-100), RSA described “suitable employment” as “reasonable good entry level work an individual can satisfactorily perform.”

The 1997 policy was, in part, a response to the fact that many state VR agencies would not approve the training and other services needed to allow a person to maximize employment potential.

F) “Strengths, abilities”

To receive services, an individual must be disabled and require VR services “to prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment.” [USC (United States Code] § 722(a)(1). Therefore, any service an individual is to receive from the VR system must be connected to an ultimate employment goal. Potential employment outcomes were expanded by Rehab ‘98. Employability had been defined as full or part-time competitive employment to the greatest extent practicable, supported employment or other employment consistent with the individual’s strengths, abilities, interests and informed choice. 34 C.F.R. § 361.5(b)(15). Rehab ‘98 adds self-employment, telecommuting and business ownership as successful employment outcomes. 29 U.S.C § 705(11)(C).

G) “Highly individualized decision” (IPE requirements)

“Any services provided by VR listed and described in the IPE must be focused toward securing a reasonable employment outcome. Beveridge and Fabian (2007) explain that Section 600 of the Rehabilitation Services Administration’s VR Policies and Procedures mandates that the IPE shall be:

‘Developed and implemented in a manner that affords eligible individuals the opportunity to exercise informed choice in selecting an employment outcome, the specific vocational rehabilitation services to be provided under the IPE, the entity that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services, and the methods used to procure the services.’

The decision as to how to implement the goal is a highly individualized decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis (Stevenson v. Com. Dept. of Labor and Industry, 1994). Whether an employment outcome is “consistent” with the consumer’s listed attributes is subject to VR approval (29 USC 722[b][2][C][ii]). A plan that is unrealistic given the market or the individual’s characteristics may not be approved (Reaves v. Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Educ., 2005).”

[John R. Vaughn, Chairperson, The Rehabilitation Act: Outcomes for Transition Age Youth, National Council on Disability (NCD), October 28, 2008, p. 32]

H) IPE requirements (see also “Highly individualized decision” above)

“The individualized plan for employment (IPE) is perhaps the most important document in the VR process. It is the cornerstone of the transition process. The VR counselor works with eligible youth and the IEP team to develop an IPE. The state plans required by the Rehabilitation Act must provide for the development and implementation of an IPE for eligible individuals (34 CFR 361.45). An IPE is required to contain, among other things, “a description of the specific employment outcome that is chosen by the eligible individual, consistent with [his or her] unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice” (29 USC 722[b][3][A]). [p. 31] (emphasis added)

I) Collaboration, “full participation” (“must”)

New York State Commission for the Blind: “The VR counselor collaborates with the consumer on activities that will lead directly to employment. The counselor also sets expectations, and direction for any placement service providers. The counselor, with the full participation of the job seeker, designs strategies for placement through planning, trouble-shooting, improvising, bringing in resources (including employer contacts/potential job leads through networking), and developing options. … Consumers must be highly involved and participate fully in the placement process in order for services to be effective.” Vocational Rehabilitation Services Manual - 10.00, New York State Commission for the Blind]

NOTE: It is unclear whether these requirements apply to all New York VR consumers, or merely to those who are blind.

J) Cost of services

“Consistent with the increased statutory obligations placed on state VR agencies, on August 19, 1997, the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) issued a Policy Directive, RSA-PD-97-04. This directive requires state VR agencies to approve vocational goals and the services to meet these goals to enable persons with disabilities to maximize their employment potential. It represents a dramatic shift in RSA policy.”

“This directive clarifies that cost or the extent of VR services an individual may need to achieve a particular employment goal should not be considered in identifying the goal in the IPE.”

 In Buchanan v. Ives, 793 F.Supp. 361 (D. Me. 1991), the parties agreed that applying a “cost efficiency analysis” to the determination of an individual’s goals and needs would violate the Act. The court held that a “cost efficiency analysis” cannot be the major determinant to deny funding of services. The court noted that the intent of Congress, in adding the maximization language, was: [T]o establish a program which would provide services to assist clients in achieving their highest level of achievement or a goal which is consistent with their maximum capacities and abilities. Id. at 365. [reference to Buchanan v. Ives, 793 F.Supp. 361 (D. Me. 1991)]

K) Order of Selection – “must”

If a state does not have the resources to provide VR services to all eligible individuals who apply, it must specify in its State VR Plan the order to be followed in selecting those individuals who will receive services. This is called the “Order of Selection.” It must also provide justification for the Order of Selection it establishes. However, the state must ensure that individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected first to receive VR services. Id. § 721(a)(5). Rehab ‘98 makes some provision for those who are not served. They are entitled to an appropriate referral to other state and federal programs, including other providers within the state workforce investment system. Id. §§ 721(a)(5)(D) and 721(a)(20).

The state VR agency must enter into an agreement with other providers within the statewide workforce investment system, which may include intercomponent staff training and technical assistance regarding:

[T]he promotion of equal, effective, and meaningful participation by individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities in the State through the promotion of program accessibility, the use of nondiscriminatory policies and procedures, and the provision of reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services, and rehabilitation technology, for individuals with disabilities.

Id. § 721(a)(11)(A)(i)(II). Most of these requirements are already mandatory for recipients of federal funds pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (id. § 794) and for providers that are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.

L) Equal Protection Violation – Conscious and Deliberate

“We are not used to dealing with consumers who have high levels of abilities.” (MH)

– Paraphrase of a statement, made on two separate occasions, of a state-employed Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, addressing a VR consumer’s request for “suitable,” “individualized” services that would allow “maximization” of use of abilities. These specific terms, taken from the ADA, were used by the consumer during the particular conversations which prompted the given statement by the VC. The terms also appeared in a written request read by the VR complaining of previous improprieties, dysfunctionality demonstrated by a different VC previously assigned to the case. The written request specifically mentioned the “civil rights” term in the context of ADA non-compliance.

The “not used to” statement discloses a specific awareness on the part of the counselor of a fact of grave importance. It shows that the entire state system has been set so as to ignore the ADA requirement (and more broadly the fundamental Constitutional requirement of equal protection) to make services available to the small minority of consumers who can be classed as having “high levels of abilities.” It shows that the state agency, though statistical data could easily predict an estimated incidence of cases in this class being presented to the state VR agency, yet the state has designed a program that did not include provisions that would be in place when a client of this class became eligible for services.

In the case in which the quoted statement is taken, the counselor was alerted by the client that such a statement revealed an “equal protection violation,” yet no verbal response was given to the client’s assertion. Moreover, over a period of months, there was no indication that the VC acknowledged that the “equal protection” claim made by the client was worthy of addressing by commenting on it or by seeking to overcome the claimed violation – by soliciting the aid off senior staff, by contacting information sources, by diligently attempting to remedy the shortcoming by soliciting new vendor or locating a genuinely qualified service provider to whom the client might be referred.

The equal protection complaint, made on two separate occasions by the client was completely ignored by the VC. No effort is known to have been made to address it, determine its validity, rebut it or robustly remedy it.

M) Unjustified Prioritizing of Lower ability, Lower IQ Class of Case

The “whole person” principle of social work is ignored when a policy is designed that automatically sets clients who have High IQ and/or high level measurable abilities – solely on their possession of “gifts,” abilities and cognitive capacities that rank well above the mean.

In assessing and evaluating the need for services, and right to be afforded services, it is the quality of life as a whole, including:

• the effect of the client’s disability on social integration, including the client’s emotional response to lack of a culturally and cognitive suitable social contextualization, such as absence of association with cognitive peers.

• the economic, financial consequences of unemployment as well as the prospects of gaining financial independence to a degree that other “whole person” imperatives are facilitated, such as family expenses and potential uninsured health expenses, as well as the effect of employment income, particularly for middle-aged clients, on their financial preparation for old age (Social Security account, savings).

• the suitability for an employment outcome that is not in itself a set up for exacerbation of the disability due to its inappropriateness and unsuitability, a situation that can lead to social isolation, exposure to social hostility (bias directed at High IQ individuals) unbearable boredom, depression and missed opportunity to escape from financial dependence and poverty.

It might seem to be common sense to justify treating High IQ and high ability clients as persons less in need of services than those persons who have a developmental disability (low IQ) and limited general and specific abilities and aptitudes. Yet the problems of social integration and achievement of genuine personal rehabilitation can be and very often are just as severe or more severe in the High IQ/high ability class of clients. Only a “whole person” standard should be used to determine priority. The use of a single axis (high ability level versus low) in the consideration of need, ignoring all the other fundamental aspects of the client’s life and situation, violates the established professional ethical principles of social work. The narrow, blinkered approach ignores the universal need to raise oneself up to reach for one’s potential, a need which, when discounted, promotes entropy, failure and intense misery for every VR client, regardless of IQ or ability rank.

The simpleminded misuse of prioritizing on a single axis of “high ability versus low ability” is disastrous for a small portion of population that is in need of VR services, yet it is both unethical and unlawful for states to sweep this minority under the rug.


CRITICAL ESSAY #1) Vocational Counselor – Major ethical issues

A VC (Vocational Counselor) may be tempted to exploit his or her power when faced with a VR (Vocational Rehabilitation) consumer whose profile is unusual and presents requirements that do not fit in with the accustomed routines that make the VC comfortable or which require the VC to gain knowledge from superiors that would be necessary in order to fulfill the requirements of the individual case. An inept, pathological or more generally unethical VC (seeking to expedite the process for the sake of convenience, or out of personal bias; or out of frustration over the demands of the case) may improperly make use of a “pathologizing” tactic in order to paint a picture of the consumer. This can occur when that consumer is aware of the legal required standards governing the services, and communicates an expectation that the requirements be honored and adequately met by the agency designated to provide ADA-mandated VR services.

A complex case involving a “high IQ” consumer can require the VR to be capable of “fluid intelligence” (Cattel-Horn) comparable to that of the consumer’s own capacities. The counselor may find this inherent demand – inherent to and intrinsic to the case – frustrating, thereby  causing him or her to be tempted to inappropriately “pathologize” the consumer as a convenient way of containing the case within the boundaries of routine, convenient and comfortable thinking and approaches.

In the following quoted comments on this general topic, the term “controlling” and “judgmental” and “rigid” apply particularly to a situation where a social worker (or a Vocational Counselor in particular) will, rather than examining the case carefully and accurately before attempting to decide on “solutions,” will try to impose a rigid, preordained, restrictively modular or “canned,” a priori solution, and stubbornly attempt to enforce inappropriate measures. Inappropriate “pathologizing” efforts are an efficient tactic by which an unethical social worker can dismiss unwanted facts and realities and to transfer, or “project,” his or her own inadequacies onto the client or consumer.

It is crucial to note that inappropriate behavior or attitudes on the part of the social worker may be virtually non-existent while processing routine cases involving modest intellectual requirements on the part of the provider, yet, when a case is presented that falls outside of comfortable routines, where it is unsuitable for that client to passively submit to a standardized module designed for the majority of clients/consumers (whose needs and abilities are radically differ from his or her own) the character weaknesses of the provider may be exposed.

In such situations we might observe the social worker demonstrating an inappropriate desire to control, an inability or unwillingness to listen actively in order to collect pertinent facts in order to properly understand the case. In such instances it will become evident that the provider is long-accustomed to cutting corners and ignoring details, for the quite understandable reason that the vast majority of cases presented in the past to the provider have involved lower IQ or average IQ individuals, whose cases can me dealt with successfully using standard, routine pre-packaged solutions.

Thus a highly competent social worker who is comfortable with routine cases of low IQ and average IQ clients can, when confronted with a different sort of case, such as one involving a high IQ client, uncharacteristically behave in a highly unethical manner, doing serious financial and general quality-of-life harm to a client. This does not mean that the social worker is incompetent generally, yet, in a specific case that involves misbehavior and abuse of power on the part of the social worker, it does indicate that clients of certain categories are a substantial risk when assigned inappropriately that (intellectually unprepared, overly controlling, routine-favoring) social worker.

Following are relevant quotes excerpted from a section titled, “Pathological or Inept Social Workers” (EP 2.1.1d & 2.1.2b), published in: Hepworth, et. Al., Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills (2013):

“Despite educational preparation, some practitioners demonstrate behavior that lacks the basic tenets of a helping relationship, for example, a lack of empathy or being in tune with those seeking their help; a lack of genuine and authentic concern; a lack of appreciation of different beliefs, lifestyles, and values. Their inept behavior may be attributed to anxiety, a lack of skill or experience, dealing with a problem beyond their scope of practice, or an inability to build collaborative relationships with clients. Ineptness and ethical practices on the part of social workers, such as abrasive, egotistical, controlling, judgmental, demeaning, patronizing, or rigid behavior can cause an appropriate negative reaction from clients. In these interactions, clients’ reactions can become a cycle of escalating conflict. For instance, a practitioner demeans an individual, an individual reacts, and so forth. It is not unusual for the professional to attempt to control by exerting his or her power and authority, which of course tends to cause another reaction from the client. Being habitually late or unprepared for appointments, appearing to be detached or disinterested, and under-involved are further indicators of troubling behavior. Most people will react to behavior that they view as disrespectful or unprofessional. In many cases, a practitioner would not tolerate similar behavior in a client.

“Ineptness is a serious concern which calls for corrective behavior on the part of the practitioner, through supervision, skill development, or self-reflection. Pathological behavior on the part of the social worker in which there is a sustained pattern of repeated errors, insensitive behaviors can cause psychological damage to clients.”

[Dean Hepworth, Ronald Rooney, Glenda Dewberry Rooney, Kim Strom-Gottfried, Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills, 9th Edition (Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series), Brooks/Cole, 2013, pp. 556-7] (emphasis added)

• • •

The distinction between crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence*, posited by the Cattell-Horn-Carrol model, is germane to this discussion. The “very superior” and “gifted” range of intelligence – characteristic of individuals populating the range two standard deviations above the mean – in many models stated as IQ 130 and above. The rote learning, the sometimes naive and overly rigid reliance of fixed typologies, standardized prefabricated rehabilitation programs, that is comfortable to the practitioner who relies upon  modes of thinking represented by the term Crystallized Intelligence.

Sparks can fly when two parties, one with a cognitive capacity limited to Crystallized Intelligence and another with the capacity for, and habit of using, Fluid Intelligence meet in a context in which the more rigid thinker is in a position of perceived authority (which more properly ought to be seen as a position of service) and attempts to dominate the more complex and thorough thinker. There is no proper parity in terms of cognitive quality and style, yet the balance of power is weighed on the less robust and less flexible side of the pairing. Such a pairing results in a conflict between a problem-solver who is subjected to the attempts of a more rigid, less aware and conformist thinker seeking to impose an inappropriate preordained “solution” to a problem (one involving a client whose cognitive style is much different and more advanced) which, in reality, the cognitive mode called “Crystallized” is incapable of investigating and analyzing properly.


* NOTES for: “CRITIQUE # 1 – Vocational Counselor – Major ethical issues” 

Fluid intelligence or fluid reasoning is the capacity to think logically and solve problems in novel situations, independent of acquired knowledge. It is the ability to analyze novel problems, identify patterns and relationships that underpin these problems and the extrapolation of these using logic. It is necessary for all logical problem solving, e.g., in scientific, mathematical, and technical problem solving. Fluid reasoning includes inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning.” [“Fluid and crystallized intelligence,” Wikipedia]

Christopher Bergland, “Too Much Crystallized Thinking Lowers Fluid Intelligence,” Psychology Today,  Dec 26, 2013https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201312/too-much-crystallized-thinking-lowers-fluid-intelligence


CRITICAL ESSAY #2) DVE & Mandatory ADA standards of “maximization,” “strengths” & “abilities”

i) Non-measurement and its effects

Some states have in place a policy that requires DVE (Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation) procedures to obscure certain areas of client’s measurable abilities.

Evaluation (DVE) protocols used by some states are fundamentally biased and produce inaccurate reports which are misleading due to deliberate non-measurement of crucial aptitudes, specifically “reading proficiency” and “written communication”  The failure to accurately measure and record proficiency in these crucial, fundamental areas leads to a multitude of problems related to compliance with ADA requirements.

DVE protocols which mandate the production of a DVE report than deliberately obscures aptitudes that rank above average or “functional” (a minimum acceptable competency rank) violate basic and inviolable requirements of ADA statutes. ADA law requires that VR services must met a standard that fosters the maximization of “capabilities and abilities” so as “to assist clients in achieving their highest level of achievement.”

The 1999 Hager report summarizes:

“[O]n August 19, 1997, the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) issued a Policy Directive, RSA-PD-97-04 [which] requires state VR agencies to approve vocational goals and the services to meet these goals to enable persons with disabilities to maximize their employment potential.” [Hager 1999] “[T]he intent of Congress, in adding the maximization language, was: [T]o establish a program which would provide services to assist clients in achieving their highest level of achievement or a goal which is consistent with their maximum capacities and abilities. Id. at 365.” [Hager 1999]

Yet the fact that in some states the DVE is designed to result in a vague and incomplete  profile, one which that ranks clients who take the exams as falling into two broad categories only: “below average” or “average” ability (or aptitude) levels in the fundamental areas of reading and writing, the DVE report can never, in cases involving individuals with notably above average abilities, to have their potential for maximization represented accurately. This deliberate policy of neglect in accurately reporting abilities severely undermines the quality and appropriateness of subsequent VR services.

Since VR services are required by law to meet a standard of being “individualized” (or “highly individualized” in Hager’s terms) it follows that any DVE, an official document which forms a good part of the informational basis for service recommendations must, in itself be individualized, in other words that the specifics of the abilities and aptitudes of the individual client must be properly  tested and accurately documented in detail. An aptitude, aptitude or ability rank that is vague, unspecific and does not pinpoint that particular individual’s particular degree of ability will, it goes without saying both create a document that permits (or even makes inevitable) a false impression of the client and will lend itself to be used by counselors to provide services that fail to meet the Federal law-mandated individualized standard. Further, the State, when it collects aggregate data, will misrepresent the ability levels in any statistics that are derived from such non-measuring measurements. A minority population of VR consumers (those who are above average in ability) will thus become invisible to policy makers and policy reformers.

A minority population DV consumers (those who are “above average” in ability) is getting a non-individualized evaluation while the majority (average and below average in ability) if given an appropriately individualized treatment (meaning that their rankings are stated with precision). This bias is unlawful. This bias results in a minority class being denied equal treatment. It is fair to say that this minority class is thus deliberately and knowingly (by deliberately designed state policy) underserved.

Additionally, such a state of affairs leads to undermining of “informed choice.” The Vocational Counselor is, because of the improper policy, armed with a report containing non-measured ability rankings. A client that might be, average, slightly above average, well above average, or highly advanced in ability will be treated as identical in the specific ability that has been given the vague or generic, unmeasured, designation (“average or above”).

Think of it this way: a freshman student in English composition earning a “C” at a low-ranked college would be given the precisely same DVE evaluative ranking in “written communication” proficiency as the brilliant master of the language, yet substantially disabled, Sylvia Path. The Pandora’s box of abuses by the VC bureaucracy visited upon its mistreated victim of what can be reasonably characterized as a “bogus” DVE report can be easily imagined.

ii) Awareness of DVE impropriety on the part of the VR Consumer

The subject of the DVE process, the client, is going to be aware that the non-measurement, once discovered, is improper and is going to be problematic and the consumer is alerted when he or she first learns that the ranking – in their particular case is non-individualized and thus correctly will conclude that he or she is being treated disrespectfully by an unethical, apathetic, disengaged, or even less-than competent, DVE evaluator. The client will often feel insulted and will despair over the prospect of a course of future disappointments in the VR process.

It is reasonable for the client – based on the knowledge gained early in the evaluation process that evaluations are not being done in a truly individualized manner that supports maximization of use of abilities in employment –  to project that his or her goal for achieving self-improvement, independence and needed accommodations, social integration might very well be ignored or even blocked by an unethical and dysfunctional VR system.

If the DVE evaluator is dismissive of the client’s concerns when presented, is supercilious in demeanor, is unwilling to give adequate answers to queries, the client can easily fall into a state of distrust in the entire VR system or institution in which the client is engaged with.

If the DVE evaluator offers a nonsensical explanation of justification in the form of a meaningless nonsequiter: “because clients above the minimum proficiency level have more options.” (paraphrase), the situation can be frustrating and feel absurdly “Twilight Zone” in nature.

As Hepworth’s Direct Social Work Practice notes, “dogmatic and authoritarian behavior discourages clients from expressing themselves and fosters a one-up, one-down relationship in which clients feel at a great disadvantage and resent the social worker’s supercilious behavior.” [Dean Hepworth, Ronald Rooney, Glenda Dewberry Rooney, Kim Strom-Gottfried, Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills, 9th Edition (Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series), Brooks/Cole, 2013, p. 176]

Hepworth notes elsewhere in reference to “ineptness and ethical practices on the part of social workers, such as abrasive, egotistical, controlling, judgmental, demeaning, patronizing, or rigid behavior” that “in these interactions, clients’ reactions can become a cycle of escalating conflict.” (pp. 556-7)

Thus, at an early stage in the VR process, the stage is set for distrust and an expectation of abuse and conflict is instilled. And the client is put into a position where he or she must demand from the Vocational Counselor some correction of the inadequate DVE report or must adopt silence for fear of further undermining of his or her access to desired services.

iii) Summary of 5 Fundmental Non-Compliance Violations

Federally required standards violated:

• Individualization
• Maximization
• Informed consent – implicitly in that clients are falsely informed by intake workers that their evaluation is to be “individualized”; explicitly in those cases where the client expresses objection to the improper practice).
• Equal protection (civil right) – in the general sense that some clients receive individualized measured rankings while others denied individualized measured rankings.
• Suitability – since VR counseling, services, and the IPE (Individualized Plan for Employment) in particular, are required to create a path to a “suitable” outcome, any interference with the correct establishment of the quality of the client’s abilities is a serious violation of Federal requirements.

iv) Parallel to Above average IQ clients: The DV “Mean Push” Hypothesis

With regard to the non-measurement of above-average abilities and aptitudes and the production of a generic “average or above” ranking of skills and abilities, replacing an accurate measure that the client reasonably would have expected to underscore the client’s hope for success, achievement, social integration and financial independence, we see a parallel akin what is described above as the VR “mean push” hypothesis. The area of the client’s positive self-perception which the client may see as the “shining light” of hope for self-improvement and escape from an unhappy status and way of life, is dashed to the ground – in favor of a bias towards “averageness,” a prejudice against talent, a stereotypical discounting of the “gifted” or  High IQ client as “privileged” and undeserving of, and not in need of, the assistance that has been solicited.

The fact that the client’s history may include painful experiences with highly challenging and entirely inappropriate, even hostile, social environments and tasks, wholly unsuited to a complex  and quick thinker, resulting is irregular employment history, is completely overlooked and reduced to an impaired interpretation false positive and false negative attributions, disallowing any prospect for rising above boring, painful employment situations.


CRITICAL ESSAY #3) Uninformed VR Counselors vs/ Placement threough “Informed Selling”

One of the most surprising aspects of the present-day state of Vocational Rehabilitation, is the prevailing ignorance of VR specialists of how the job market functions.

From a 1970 publication describing the “primary functions of the vocational rehabilitation specialist”

“Providing placement services involves finding suitable employment opportunities or keeping up day-to-day contacts with employers, placement people, and others, and keeping alert for job and small business opportunities. Placing the individual involves a program of informed selling.

“This typically requires that the specialist overcome the more common employer objections to hiring the handicapped. He must convince the employer that, instead, he will be hiring a qualified person who can fill the employer's needs. This may also involve persuading the employer to make certain modifications in the work situation in order to accommodate to the individual's particular handicap.”

[“Primary functions of the vocational rehabilitation specialist” in: “Position Classification Standard for Vocational Rehabilitation Series, GS-1715,” Vocational Rehabilitation Series, GS-1715 TS-84, U. S. Office of Personnel Management, February 1970, p. 5]

When discussing the importance of “keeping alert for job and small business opportunities” with present-day VR professionals one will frequently get both a blank look and an explanation of the VR practitioners notion of job placement constituting teaching clients to put together a resume and teaching how to look for jobs and how to present oneself in a job interview. The idea that a VR program would actively engage with the job marketplace on its own terms, keeping up to date on trends and opportunities in “real time” is foreign to most of today’s blinkered and program-centered (rather than client-centered) VR practitioners.

Even more obscure to the mind of the ordinary VR practitioner of today is the fact, as succinctly stated in 1970 by U. S. Office of Personnel Management, that “placing the individual involves a program of informed selling.”

To engage in informed selling a placement specialist (as well as all other practitioners throughout the VR process, especially evaluators) must be familiar with basic marketplace principles such as:

• supply and demand
• cost vs. benefit
• incentives (including incentivization that motivated the client)
• negotiating (making the deal through communicating accurately and describing benefits to both parties, employer and prospective employee)
• trade-offs
• matching client’s skills to available jobs (rather than relying on the utterly rigid notion of directing job seekers to limit their choice to a solitary narrow standardized job description classification)
• value creation, communicating value (sales)
• financial risks for client, including opportunity costs

The 1970 “Primary Functions” overview is explicit in stating that such competencies are mandatory ones. In the section “Qualifications required” ( p. 7) it states that:

“Ability to obtain and keep up to date occupational and training facility information through a variety of sources, including establishing and maintaining close working relationships with training and placement officials in public and private agencies, businessmen, etc. This also requires constant alertness for new placement and small business opportunities.”

So we musk ask ourselves how it is possible that in one recent instance that took place in a three-person meeting between a State Vocational Counselor, a sub-contracted VR Placement specialist and the client would, after the client describes a goal of being engaged in commission-based sales and other market-increasing activities as a career, demonstrating articulately in his presentation a commitment to “creating value,” that the State VR Counselor would interject a criticism of his positive pro-active attitude and plans with the reply:

“It doesn’t have to be capitalism!”

Many VR practitioners seem to be living in a bubble, a bureaucracy-centered world cut off from reality. They avoid all information that does not fit in a one-size-fits all, prescribed modular system of pre-packaged programs, a system that attracts people who prefer to focus on routine and rigid conceptualization, and who lack the ability to look at the client as a whole person, and lack the ability to see the employment marketplace as a dynamic system with its own particular characteristics that must be respected and understood.


5. Conclusion (summary of notes and critiques)

Within those states that ignore the ”whole person” principle and/or those which are non-compliant with ADA on fundamental and inviolable requirements (such as informed choice, the maximization standard, suitability, client’s interests, proper and individualized evaluation as well as individualized plans and services provided), and those states in which there is an absence of appropriate quality control mechanism that insures practical competence and the ethical practices of counselors, there is a civil right crisis and an ethics crisis. The non-compliant states must address these failures, both in current and upcoming individual cases, and must do so immediately – plus these states must set in motion measures to reform their institutions so as to eradicate the crisis that is being ignored.

Reforming Vocational evaluation (DVE) procedures in those states that fail to make individualized and accurate measurements of skills of clients whose skills and aptitudes are above-the-mean (in particular reading and writing) would be an easy to implement improvement that would begin to pave the way to a more ethical treatment of clients who are currently mis-served by biased and ill-advised policies (the VR “mean push”).



ADDED Footnotes:

# 1 – On Characteristics of Gifted Adults

From: Francis Heylighen, PhD, “Gifted People and their Problems” quoting:

LIBERATING EVERYDAY GENIUS TM by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy.D. - retitled  The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius

Characteristics of Gifted Adults

Perfectionistic and sets high standards for self and others.
Has strong moral convictions.
Is highly sensitive, perceptive or insightful. Fascinated by words or an avid reader.
Feels out-of-sync with others.
Is very curious.
Has an unusual sense of humour.
A good problem solver.
Has a vivid and rich imagination.
Questions rules or authority.
Has unusual ideas or connects seemingly unrelated ideas.
Thrives on challenge.
Learns new things rapidly.
Has a good long-term memory.
Feels overwhelmed by many interests and abilities.
Is very compassionate.
Feels outrage at moral breaches that the rest of the world seems to take for granted.
Has passionate, intense feelings.
Has a great deal of energy.
Can't switch off thinking.
Feels driven by creativity.
Loves ideas and ardent discussion. Needs periods of contemplation.
Searches for ???? in their life.
Feels a sense of alienation and loneliness.
Is very perceptive.
Feels out of step with others.


# 2 - On IQ and Organizational Behavior:

Abstract: We hypothesize the existence of a “somebody else’s problem” in management education for the sub-discipline of organizational behavior (OB). The problem regards human intelligence, specifically, the general factor, g. Although g is arguably the most powerful variable in social science, OB educators largely ignore it. To demonstrate the former, we review a vast literature establishing g’s construct validity. To demonstrate the latter, we show that current OB textbooks place far less emphasis on g relative to a popular but less potent predictor of organizational success, emotional intelligence. We also show that when textbooks do reference g, it is often just to offer criticism. Misconceptions about empirical data on intelligence testing, denial that a general factor of intelligence exists, the reality of mean racial differences in mental ability, and the finding that genes play a non-trivial role in causing intelligence, seem to make OB’s treatment of this topic “somebody else’s problem.

[Bryan Pesta, Michael A. McDaniel, Peter J. Poznanski, Timothy DeGroot, “Discounting IQ’s Relevance to Organizational Behavior: The “Somebody Else’s Problem” in Management Education,” Open Differential Psychology, May 26, 2015]


#3 - On High IQ Characteristics and Preferences:

“One thing that normally irritates people with high IQ is asking them to explain something (complex), then stop listening in the middle of their explanations. Exceptionally gifted people just can't understand why one would ask a question and not care about the answer, when they visibly do not understand that topic.”

“High-IQ people are very individualistic, but they usually strive for the common good (as well as their own interests). Their passion for things, their sense of logic, and their desire for perpetual improvement, make of them good politicians and philosophers. On the other hand, they usually dislike routine jobs, with predefinied tasks and little space for creativity and a sense of intellectual challenge.”

[Maciamo,What characterises people with high IQ's?” June 23, 2007, Eurepedia]


# 4 - On Fluid Intelligence and Vocation

“Within the corporate environment, fluid intelligence is a predictor of a person's capacity to work well in environments characterised by complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity.”

[Wikipedia, “Fluid and crystallized intelligence”]


#5 - High IQ – Depression and Conflict vs. Self-Actualization and Integration

Excerpts from a paper on “issues for gifted adults”:

Opening paragraph – “There has been comparatively little focus in the literature on the characteristics and social and emotional needs of gifted adults. Using observational data, the author attempts to delineate some of the positive and negative social effects of traits displayed by gifted adults. Five traits (divergency, excitability, sensitivity, perceptivity, and entelechy) seem to produce potential interpersonal and intrapersonal conflict. Unless gifted adults learn to value themselves and find support, identity conflicts and depression may result. Emphasis on self-growth through knowing and accepting self leads to the discovery of sources of personal power. Nurturing relationships through realistic expectations and learning to share oneself provides a supportive environment in which gifted adults can grow and flourish.”

Conclusion Gifted adults, perhaps more than any other group, have the potential to achieve a high degree of self-actualization. Despite the problems that being gifted can bring, the positive social and emotional aspects of giftedness can more than compensate for the problems. To continue to hear the flowers singing and to turn visions and dreams to reality throughout an entire lifetime is a goal to be desired by every gifted adult.”

[Deirdre V. Lovecky, “Can You Hear the Flowers Sing? Issues for Gifted Adults,” Journal of Counseling and Development, May 1986]


# 6 - High IQ & Misdiagnosis

The book Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults by James T. Webb, Ph.D.,  and others, affirms that “Many of our brightest, most creative, most independent thinking children and adults are being incorrectly diagnosed as having behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders.

“They are then given medication and/or counseling to change their way of being so that they will be more acceptable within the school, the family, or the neighborhood, or so that they will be more content with themselves and their situation.

“The tragedy for these mistakenly diagnosed children and adults is that they receive needless stigmatizing labels that harm their sense of self and result in treatment that is both unnecessary and even harmful to them, their families, and society.”

[James T. Webb, Ph.D.; Edward R. Amend, Psy. D.; Nadia E. Webb, Psy.D.; Jean Goerss, M.D, M.P.H.; Paul Beljan, Psy.D.; F. Richard Olenchak, Ph.D., Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders, 2004Great Potential Press]


# 7 - “Unserved and underserved” VR clients

From: Rehabilitation  Act Needs Assessment Requirements  Section 101(a)(15)

(15) Annual state goals and reports of progress (A) Assessments and estimates The State plan shall

(II) Include … individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved  by the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this title”

[“Developing a Model Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment With Corresponding Training Materials For State VR Agency Staff and SRC Members: The VR Needs Assessment Guide,” Submitted to: Rehabilitation Services Administration; Janette Shell, COR; Submitted by: InfoUse, 2560 9th Street, Suite 320, Berkeley, CA 94710; November 30, 2009; US Department of Education]


# 8 - Pat Phrases: Manipulative Tactics of State Vocational Counselors

Vocational Counselors are trained to employ pat phrases (bromides, trite cliches) in order to mollify clients who are frustrated by incompetent social workers and inappropriate practices and behaviors on the part of VR professionals and organizations.” Bromides are frequently used to quell fully justified complaints, to get rid of clients who will later discover that the professional who had seemed engaged (having made the utterance) is in truth neglecting the case, has no investment in the client’s goal for success and engages in behavior that communicates a lack of respect for the client.

a) “There are no guarantees.” – used as an excuse for lack of effort made to locate suitable services.

b) “You just need to be treated with respect.” – ironically, this can be used to win the trust of a client who will then find later on that the professional fails to keep his word, ignores phone calls, ignores requests for information that falls in the category of “informed consent,” is unprepared for meetings, is supercilious, makes judgments for the sake of expeditiousness without ever looking at pertinent case-specific documents, dismissive and controlling.

c) “Your success is my success.” – a mollifying tactic that has an adverse effect if later the professional who has uttered it fails to to his or her job (breaking of one’s word, forgetting to complete agreed to tasks, etc.) and ultimately dismisses the client’s goals for success, following a series of failures to behave reliably and professionally on the part of the professional.

d) “What I need to see in my cases is communication between the service provided [sub-contracted] and the consumer.” – this will mollify, yet quickly ends up having an adverse effect on the consumer and his or her trust in the professional when it is discovered that there is no follow-up action – that the professional does not contact a non-communicative service provider, and agreed-upon services continue to be withheld (whether passively or actively).

# 9 - “Whole Person and “Harmony”

“In the wise choice of vocation there are three broad factors:

1) a clear understanding of your self, your aptitudes, abilities, interests, ambitions, resources, limitations and their causes;
2) a knowledge of the requirements and conditions of success, advantages and disadvantages, compensation, opportunities, and prospects in different lines of work;
3) true reasoning on the relations of these two groups of facts.”

“An occupation out of harmony with the worker’s aptitudes and capacities means inefficiency, unenthusiastic and perhaps distasteful labor, and low pay; while an occupation in harmony with the nature of the man means enthusiasm, love of work, and high economic values, – superior product, efficient service, and good pay.”

[Frank Parsons, Choosing a Vocation, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1909, p. 3] 

“Research has verified Parson’s observations: People who find satisfaction in their work exhibit higher levels of commitment, competency, and productivity and report higher levels of life adjustment (Auty, Goldman, & Foss, 1987; Henderson, 2000; Mueller, 2003; Stott, 1970).”[James R. Stone, Morgan V. Lewis, College and Career Ready in the 21st Century: Making High School Matter, New York: 2012, Teachers College, Columbia University, p. 37]

# 10 - State claims that the applicant is perhaps ineligible for services due to applicant not meeting a threshhold definition of “disability”

“Congress amended the ADA in 2008 to restore the civil rights of Americans with disabilities and overturn four Supreme Court decisions that had inappropriately narrowed the protections of the ADA.  The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, signed by President Bush on September 25, 2008, emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis.” [“Disability Rights,” AAPD, undated, circa 2012-2015]




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