Veterans Research

Institute For Economic Empowerment Research On Career Interests And Support Needs Of Returning Veterans From OIF/OEF With PTSD And/Or TBI

Research Report Summary

There are 2.4 million Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans, 114,000 of whom have received disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Of these veterans, 18.5% have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Depression. Another 19.5% have been identified to have some type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Because of their prevalence, PTSD and TBI have become known as the signature injuries of the Global War on Terror.

The Institute for Economic Empowerment (IEE) conducts research, demonstration, and development projects to make significant progress toward the strategic goal of full and fair employment for individuals with significant disabilities, particularly those facing the most significant disability-related barriers to employment. For more information about the IEE, go to http://www.instituteforempowerment.orgexternal link new window.

The IEE was founded by SourceAmerica, a national nonprofit agency that develops and maintains employment and training opportunities for people with significant disabilities through the AbilityOne® Program. The AbilityOne Program leverages the buying power of the United States government to generate jobs for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Through the AbilityOne Program, federal agencies buy products and services from nonprofit agencies (NPAs) nationally employing people with significant disabilities. For more information about SourceAmerica, go to For more information about the AbilityOne Program, go to http://www.abilityone.govExternal link new window icon.

As all indicators show, the transition from military to civilian life is difficult. Compound these difficulties with significant physical or mental disabilities and entire families have been known to suffer through this transition. The IEE recognized that the AbilityOne NPAs capabilities make them strong partners for providing support to assist this population of veterans’ access civilian careers. IEE launched a research project to secure primary information from the veterans, their family members, service providers, educators and employers.

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