Description of Orientation and Mobility Skills and Outcome Expectations as Predictors of Employment for Young Adults with Visual Impairments
Structured abstract: Introduction: Youths with visual impairments attend postsecondary school at high rates, yet these individuals have low rates of employment. In this study, factors associated with post-school employment were investigated in a nationally representative sample of youths with visual impairments. Methods: In a secondary analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2, multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate employment outcomes for youths with visual impairments based on orientation and mobility skills and outcome expectations. Results: Youths with high community travel scores were significantly more likely to be employed in Wave 4 (up to six years post–high school; B = .25, p = .003) and those with high outcome expectations were significantly more likely to be employed in Wave 5 (up to eight years post–high school; B = .33, p = .04). Discussion: Results suggest that independently traveling to places outside the home, using public transportation, and arranging airplane or train trips predict post-school employment for youths with visual impairments. Positive self-beliefs about work for pay, financial self-support, and independent living were also associated with employment. Implications for practitioners: Professionals can support students in gaining these vital skills by providing community experiences, positive role models, and verbal encouragement. Research-based predictors of employment should be considered when planning transition services for adolescents with visual impairments.