Adult Outcomes, Reported Self-Aptitude, and Perceived Training: A Follow-up Study of Individuals with Visual Impairment
AuthorLawson, Holly Michelle
AdvisorErin, Jane N.
Committee ChairErin, Jane N.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine factors that relate to successful adult outcomes for 28 individuals with visual impairment ages 23-30. The primary dependent variable was current employment. Independent living and completion of postsecondary educational program were secondary, related outcome measures. A secondary goal of this research was to explore self-perceived aptitude in specific skills that are related to adult outcomes and to understand how and how well participants learned these skills.A mixed-methods design was implemented and quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a highly structured 151-item telephone survey. A series of Fisher's Exact and Mann Whitney-U tests were run to explore statistically significant relationships between variables. Past employment experience was positively related to current employment. Receipt of Social Security benefits and profound vision loss were negatively related to current employment. The longer a participant had been out of high school, the more likely he/she was to have a postsecondary educational degree.Eight essential skills were examined: daily living, college preparation, social, self-advocacy, technology, transportation management, and job seeking. Overall on a scale of 1-10, participants rated their aptitude and training in essential skills areas high. Job seeking was scored the lowest and those who had worked in the past five years rated their job seeking skills higher than those without past work experience. Adults who had completed a postsecondary educational degree rated their college preparation skills higher than those who had not completed a degree program. Those who were living independently rated their overall daily living skills higher than those who were living with a parent or parents.Qualitative data suggest that some skills, such as transportation management and technology, were taught primarily by professionals in the field of visual impairment. In contrast, daily living, social and self-advocacy skills were often learned from the support of family or friends. Many adults reported that they did not receive direct instruction in social and self-advocacy skills; instead they learned them on their own. Further empirical research is needed to understand best practices for integrating effective instruction in compensatory training and their relationship to successful adult outcomes.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education & Rehabilitation