Division on Visual Impairments

VIDBEQ 62(2) Spring 2017

A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

Issue link: http://dvi.uberflip.com/i/827904

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Page 32 of 39

VIDBE-Q Volume 62 Issue 2 Karen Wolffe, Consultant, Career Counseling & Consultation, LLC, Karen.wolffe@gmail.com Teri Turgeon, Community Programs Director, Perkins School for the Blind, Teri.Turgeon@perkins.org Jessica Brown, Community Programs Assistant Director, Perkins School for the Blind, Jessica.Brown@perkins.org Kate Katulak, Perkins On-campus TVI, Perkins School for the Blind, Kate.Katulak@perkins.org Although youth with visual impairments tend to graduate from high school and attend college in numbers comparable to their sighted peers, they are at risk for unemployment as adults. Employment statistics collected during the second National Longitudinal Transition Study indicated that young adults with blindness or low vision were only less likely to be employed than those with cognitive impairment, autism, orthopedic impairments, or multiple disabilities, including deaf-blindness (Newman et al., 2011). The most current employment data available nationally for adults with visual impairments (21-64 years old) indicate that their employment rate is approximately 42%; however, only 28% are employed full-time and year-round. By comparison, the employment rate nationwide for individuals (21-64 years of age) without disabilities is 78.3% and 58.6% of those are working full-time and year-round. Employment in New England for individuals (21-64 years old) with visual impairments ranges from 37.6% in Maine to 55.9% in Rhode Island; 43.6% in Massachusetts. The employment rates for individuals (21-64 years old) in New England range from 82.5% in Maine to 81.2% in Rhode Island; 81.6% in Massachusetts (Erickson, Lee, & von Schrader, 2017). Research has evidenced several factors that seem to lead to successful employment for youth with visual impairments: Finding jobs independently, the number and length of jobs held while in school, applied Transition programming: Implementation & results from Perkins 33

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