Description of Transition-Age Youths with Visual Impairments in Vocational Rehabilitation: A New Look at Competitive Outcomes and Services
Structured abstract: Introduction: Given the low rate of closure of cases for employment, the study presented here analyzed the characteristics of consumers and services that predict competitive employment for youths with visual impairments who are making the transition from secondary education to employment in the vocation rehabilitation program. Methods: Using data from the Rehabilitation Services Administration on 2,282 consumers aged 22 or younger whose cases were closed after they received services, we conducted descriptive and logistic regression analyses to determine which client and service factors predicted competitive employment. Results: Gender; race; education; disability; the severity of visual impairment, receipt of Supplemental Security Income, earnings at the time of application, which are indicative of early work experiences; and four of five service clusters were significantly related to employment outcomes. Discussion: This research provided new knowledge regarding influences, “risk factors,” and predictors of competitive employment--what works--for youths with visual impairments. Implications for practitioners: We make recommendations for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, transition programs, policy regarding groups “at-risk” for poor employment outcomes, and future research.