Equity and the order of selection mandate:Critical issues in implementation and evaluation

James Bellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The order of selection mandate, the cornerstone of the federal policy initiative to serve individuals with the most severe disabilities in the state-federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) program, is examined from the perspective of equity. The order of selection mandate is founded on the fair opportunity rule, which asserts that individuals who experience the most severe disadvantages resulting from disability have the greatest claim to available agency resources. Several challenges to the appropriate implementation of the order of selection mandate are identified. Also, difficulties in evaluating equity in program participation and agency resource allocation are discussed, and two standards for evaluation, consistency, and impartiality are proposed. Then, recent research on the quality of order of selection implementation in state-federal VR is reviewed, and recommendations to facilitate the equitable implementation of the mandate and to evaluate progress in meeting the goal of serving individuals with the most severe disabilities are proposed. Most importantly, standard, quantifiable data on VR program participants' severity of disability are needed to permit warranted conclusions about equity in order of selection implementation and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-124
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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