• A woman reads a magazine with the help of a video magnifier.
  • Bully poses for a photo.
  • A man reads a book by braille
  • A vision impaired student walks through campus.
  • An exterior photo of the Industrial School.

Our Mission

Enhance employment and independent living outcomes for individuals who are blind or visually impaired through research, training, education, and dissemination.

SSDI and Competitive Employment Competitive Employment by agency structure and age (line graph): On the Y axis is Mean Competitive Employment Rate and the X axis is Age at Application. There are two lines on the chart, one represents blindness agencies and the other combined agencies. The lines start out together for age 18 and both increase although the blindness agencies increase a little more quickly. The lines are only a few points apart, but start to separate more significantly around age 40. For the line on combined agencies the line is approximately the same from age 20 to age 50 with only small changes. After age 50 the line for combined agencies drops off sharply. The line on blindness agencies continues to rise between ages 20 and 40. At age forty the line has peaked, but remains at this level to the edge of the graph at age 80. SSDI-beneficiary consumers who received services in blind agencies are more likely to achieve competitive employment compared to those who received services at general or combined agencies, especially for consumers 40 and older. Erasing Race Differences in Competitive Employment Outcomes (bar chart): Three bars are identified as African American, White, and Hispanic along the X axis labeled as the Race of SSDI-beneficiary. Chance of Competitive Employment is listed on the Y axis which shows all the bars at the same height. At the lower edge of the chart, N = 4,500. VR consumers who also were SSDI beneficiaries clearly showed no significant differences in chance of competitive employment among African American, White, and Hispanic consumers!  The work experience needed to qualify for SSDI appears to moderate race differences Giesen, J.M. & Cavenaugh, B.S. (2013). Disability insurance beneficiaries with visual impairments in vocational rehabilitation:  Socio-demographic influences on employment.  Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 107(6), 453-467. Research & Training Utilization Award National Technical Assistance Center

Our Mission

Enhance employment and independent living outcomes for individuals who are blind or visually impaired through research, training, education, and dissemination.

 Funded by the United States Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).