Factors that impact the employment history of employable visually impaired and blind adults who have completed high school in the state of Tennessee

Charla Kaye Kelley, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate variables that influenced the employability of persons who are visually impaired and live in Tennessee. The study sought to investigate employment patterns, personal experience barriers and opportunities of this population for entering the workplace. Demographic data and key variables in relation to obtaining and maintaining employment were investigated. Finally, data issues in relation to employment service requirements and service delivery modality were identified. Ten interviews were conducted and participants were asked to relate their experiences in obtaining and keeping employment, barriers they had encountered in their attempts to find, obtain and keep employment. Participants were asked to identify areas of their education, rehabilitation training or job access programs they felt were beneficial or lacking and to elaborate on each. When compared to the State of Tennessee employment statistics, the visually impaired individuals in the study had a much higher rate of unemployment. Data collected show that the use of services to assist with employment did not have a major impact on the employment rate of the study population. Seventy-five percent of the employed and 68.18% of the unemployed individuals had received some form of employment assistance. Several barriers to employment were cited during the gathering of the data. Transportation, lack of training, and employers' attitude were mentioned by the majority of participants. While study participants could decide if they wanted additional employment training, they could not control transportation or employers attitudes. Finally, issues pertaining to employers providing services, devices and assistance were addressed. The majority of participants reported purchasing their own devices and cited Vocational Education as the most beneficial assistance to becoming employable. ^

Subject Area

Economics, Labor|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Charla Kaye Kelley, "Factors that impact the employment history of employable visually impaired and blind adults who have completed high school in the state of Tennessee" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3061755.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3061755

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