Assistant Professor

406 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Phone: (614) 685-9217

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

  • Postsecondary Employment of People with Disabilities
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation & Neurorehabilitation
  • Teaching
Pediatric Occupational Therapy
  • Experimental Design, Data Analysis, & Measurement Theory
  • Leadership & Mentoring
  • Applied Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology
Clinical Interests
  • Transition to Adulthood
  • School-Based Occupational Therapy
  • Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy​

Research Focus

Job matching is the collaborative, data-based decision making process used by transition teams to determine the best fit between an individual’s abilities and preferences and the job’s environmental and occupational demands. 

This definition, recently published by my lab, provides a foundation for future research in this area. Additionally, I have recently demonstrated that job matching practices within the American special education and vocational rehabilitation systems are collaborative, multidimensional, and highly variable. Existing job matching assessments fail to assess both individual abilities and job demands in a way that informs job matching decisions. Systematic procedures that increase the consistency, effectiveness, and efficiency of job matching practices are needed.

My Transition, Employment, and Technology (TET) Lab developed the Vocational Fit Assessment (VFA) to assess individual abilities and job demands. Based on these data, Job Matching Reports (JMR) identify the pros and cons of each potential job match and identify areas of need, suitable for intervention. 

Extensive psychometric testing of the VFA demonstrates its reliability, validity, and potential to benefit key stakeholders engaged in the job matching process. The process of assessment using the VFA and job matching using JMRs is known as Systematic Job Matching (SJM).

Recent Research

Persch, A. C., Cleary, D. S., Rutkowski, S., Malone, H. C., Darragh, A. R., & Case-Smith, J. D. (2015). Current practices in job matching for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 43(3), 259-273.

Persch, A. C., Gugiu, P. C., Onate, J. A., & Cleary, D. S. (2015). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Vocational Fit Assessment. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(6), 6906180080.

Recent Presentations

Reifenberg, G., Eismann, M. M., Cleary, D. S., Malone, H. C., Rutkowski, S., Darragh, A. R., & Persch, A. C. (11/2015). Job matching practices of Project SEARCH professionals. Poster session presented at the Division of Career Development and Transition annual conference. Portland, OR. Refereed.

Persch, A. C. (11/2015). Reliability, validity, and clinical utility of the Vocational Fit Assessment. Session presented at the Division of Career Development and Transition annual conference. Portland, OR. Refereed.

Courses Taught

  • OCCTHER 7310
  • OCCTHER 7320
  • OCCTHER 6389


  • 2005: BS, Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin
  • 2007: MS, Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin
  • 2014: PhD, Philosophy, The Ohio State University
My Research Links

My Research Links

Share this Page