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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling

Jorgensen-Smith, Tammy, Ph.D., CRC

Jorgensen-Smith, Tammy, Ph.D., CRC

Despite passage of significant federal legislation to assist individuals with disabilities to find employment and return to work, the number of persons with disabilities who are jobless is estimated to be 79%.  Further, the literature shows clearly that persons with disabilities can be productive members of society with appropriate rehabilitation and customized job supports.  Hence, sustainable training and technical assistance systems for community rehabilitation providers, individuals with disabilities, and their families/caregivers is a major research focus of Dr. Tammy Jorgensen-Smith. 

Dr. Jorgensen-Smith, as faculty in the Department of Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling and in the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, within the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, has worked extensively to better the lives of persons with disabilities in the State of Florida.  Much of her research and grants have been centered on inclusion and supportive services (employment and education). “Access a College Education – Think College Mini Grant” and “One Stop Service Center Initiative” have focused on removing barriers to educational and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. 

As co-principal investigator, she was instrumental in developing the Supported, Competitive, Integrated Employment Training Teams (SCIETT) project, a training and technical assistance system for supported employment, funded by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.

Customized employment is a person-centered process that results in a job that is designed to assist an individual to gain employment by personalizing the employment relationship between a job seeker and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.  Dr. Jorgensen-Smith was the principal investigator on the Discovery Certificate Course Start-Up Certificate course, initiated by the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and funded by the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Center Region IV (Southeast TACE), to provide an alternative to traditional vocational evaluation.  Learn more about the Customized Employment Competency Model

Her most recent grant project is the Collaborative on Discovery and Innovation in Employment Project.  She and Dr. Lise Fox (CBCS) are overseeing the implementation of this component of the Customized Employment Competency Model to build the capacity of school districts to implement a person-centered planning process and job development activities.  Also funded by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, the intent of this project is to assist youth with significant disabilities to achieve their employment goals. 

Dr. Jorgensen-Smith’s efforts on inclusion were recognized in 2014 with the receipt of the national Association for Persons Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE) Research Award.

Selected Publications

Dillahunt-Aspillaga, C., Jorgensen-Smith, T., Ehlke, S., Sosinski, M., Monroe, D., & Thor, J. (2013). Traumatic brain injury: Unmet support needs of caregivers and families in Florida. PLoS ONE, 8(12): e82896. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082896

Lee, M.A., Smith, T.J., & Henry, R.G. (2013). Power politics: Advocacy to activism in social justice counseling. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, 5(3), 70-94.

Smith, T.J.& Benito, N. (2013). Florida College Collaborative: Facilitating inclusive post-secondary education opportunities for youth with developmental disabilities, Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 26(4), 396-402. [Special Edition on Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities]

Smith, T.J., Reid, J.A., Henry, R.G., Dixon, C.G., & Wright, T.J., (2013). Evaluating curricular influence on preparation for practice, career outcomes, and job satisfaction: Results from an alumni survey of a 40-year rehabilitation and mental health counseling program. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(1), 43-57. doi: 10.1891/2168-6653.27.1.43

Smith, T.J., (2013). One stop service center initiative: Strategies for serving persons with disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, 79(1), 30-36.

Smith, T.J., Clark, B., & Dileo, D. (2011). Community action teams: An infrastructure for quality service delivery. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 35(1), 13-19.

Lewis, S.A., Bardin, J.A., & Smith, T.J. (2009). After one year: Self-reported transition skills of teens with visual impairments. AER Journal: Research and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness, 2, 84-96.