on Blindness and Low Vision
2010-2015 NIDRR RRTC Grant
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Employment Outcomes for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Even as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a lack of employment opportunities continues to prevent large numbers of individuals who are blind or severely visually impaired from becoming self-supporting and from fully participating in society. Nationally representative data from 2008 shows that employment rates among individuals who are blind or visually impaired are around 43%, as compared with 72% employment among workers without disabilities. Specific subgroups of individuals with visual impairment show even lower employment rates. Scientific research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of existing practices and new interventions that can improve workforce participation by individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
In 2010, MSU-RRTC researchers proposed six research strands in response to the priority issued by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for an RRTC on Employment Outcomes for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired. NIDRR specified that research under this RRTC should include individuals who are legally blind, and should include those who are at additional risk for poor employment outcomes. Our proposal won this competitive grant (NIDRR grant H133B100022), and we have initiated work on the six research projects detailed below:
- Project 1: A Customized Transportation Intervention
- Project 2: An Employment Mentoring Intervention Project for College Students who are Legally Blind
- Project 3: Effectiveness of VR Agency-Employer Interaction Practices
- Project 4: Evaluation of Training and Recruitment Practices in the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program
- Project 5: Employment Outcomes of SSDI Beneficiaries
- Project 6: Accessibility in the Modern Workplace
Each research project includes training, technical assistance, and dissemination components. Click the links below to learn more about these elements of the 2010-2015 RRTC on Employment Outcomes for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired:
The overarching goal of these projects is to improve competitive employment outcomes and other indicators of employment success for individuals who are legally blind by developing and evaluating new and existing employment interventions and practices.
Principal Investigator: Michele McDonnall, Ph.D. email@example.com
Research/Training Staff: Adele Crudden, Ph.D.; Brenda Cavenaugh, Ph.D.; Jamie O'Mally, Ph.D.; J. Martin Giesen, Ph.D.; Mark Uslan, M.Ed.; B. J. LeJeune, M.Ed.; Alberta L. Orr, M.S.W.; and Jacqui Bybee, M.S.