Latino Initiatives – Iniciativas Latinas

Project: Rehabilitation Readiness Tool for Latinos with Psychiatric Disabilities

H133G020181_04 Funded by NIDRR


Grant Abstract

(September, 2002 – August, 2006)

Goal: The purpose of this project was to develop a Spanish Guide to Assessing and Developing Rehabilitation Readiness for Latino Consumers with Serious Psychiatric Disabilities

Rehabilitation interventions exist that hold promise for people with severe psychiatric disabilities, particularly in the area of vocational rehabilitation. Due to various service barriers, individuals of Latino descent typically do not access or disengage quickly from existing services, and turn to families or other natural supports for assistance. As a result, Latinos often do not benefit from the vocational rehabilitation innovations that have been developed. The present proposal addresses several barriers related to Latino service underutilization. These barriers are the field’s lack of understanding of how to begin services in a way that matches the Latino clients’ needs (i.e., readiness to engage) and the absence of accompanying Spanish readiness educational materials.

Preliminary work by the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has supported the usefulness of the readiness concept for the Latino population (Restrepo-Toro & Spaniol, 2000; Restrepo-Toro, 2001). Development of the Readiness Guide was a logical next step in the Center’s attempts to expand and adapt the Center’s technology for people with psychiatric disabilities of Latino descent. The Guide assists people to develop their own self-assessment of readiness to engage in rehabilitation, makes suggestions to help individuals decide on future services based on their level of readiness for rehabilitation, and lastly, includes a series of activities to help individuals develop rehabilitation readiness.

The project gathered information about Latino consumers’ readiness experiences for the purpose of designing this tool that can be used by professionals and/or the person’s family or natural support system in order to assess and develop the individual’s readiness for rehabilitation in an effective and culturally appropriate way.

Project Goals

Goal One: To adapt the constructs of Rehabilitation Readiness to be relevant for Latino individuals with psychiatric disabilities. (achieved)

Goal Two: To develop a guide for the assessment of Rehabilitation Readiness. (achieved)

Goal Three: To disseminate the guide. (in progress)

Center Staff

Maria E. Restrepo-Toro, MS, CPRP., see profile
Principal Investigator
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University

Marianne Farkas
Co-Principal Investigator
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University


This new and innovative rehabilitation readiness guide was developed by Boston University in collaboration with Latino consumers, family members and staff at the following sites:

South Bay Guidance Center and Maria Sardiñas programs at the Community Research Foundation in San Diego, CA.

Casa Primavera, a program of Bay Cove Human Services in Boston, MA.

National Resources Center for Hispanic Mental Health at the New Jersey Mental Health Institute.

The Spanish-speaking peer counseling program at the Northeast Independent Living Program in Lawrence, MA.