Factors that correlate with Employment for People who are Blind in Alabama
Type of DegreeDissertation
Rehabilitation and Special Education
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This non-experimental retrospective study examined case records from the state of Alabama’s vocational rehabilitation agencies competitive closure rates for blind consumers to determine relationships and to identify the quality of jobs obtained. Four questions were analyzed to identify the relationships and to measure the quality of jobs. Questions one and two queried to find a relationship with competitive verses non-competitive closure status and questions three and four queried to find a relationship to weekly earnings at closure. One thousand three hundred twenty-eight (1,328) cases were analyzed using multiple regressions to find a relationship between assigned demographic factors and selected program services to the dependent variable of competitive outcomes and weekly earnings. Research Question 1 asks “What is the relationship between selected demographic factors to the employment status achieved by a consumer upon exiting?” Seven assigned demographic variables were analyzed to find a relationship to competitive outcomes in question one, and three of the variables — onset of disability, gender, and weekly earnings at application — were found to have a relationship. Research Question 2 asks “What is the relationship between selected program services and employment status of a consumer achieves upon exiting?” Five of the 11 program services were found to have a significant relationship to a competitive employment outcome: academic training, job readiness training, job placement, on-the-job supports, and rehabilitation technology. Research Question 3 asks “What is the relationship between selected program services and the amount of income a consumer earned upon exiting?” Two program services, Academic Training and Rehabilitation Technology, were found to have a positive relationship to earnings. Research Question 4 asks, “What is the relationship of selected demographic factors to the amount of income earned by a consumer upon exiting?” Findings show that a person’s disability onset at birth, age, and weekly earnings at application are assigned demographic factors that have a relationship to earnings.