Analysis of the Disparity in Post-secondary Educational Attainment and Employment between Individuals with Visual Impairment and the General Population
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe data gathered from disability service professionals in six different states through an on-line survey and follow up interviews was used to determine if there was a correlation between specific professional practices and the magnitude of the disparity in four-year college graduation and employment rates between individuals with visual impairments and the general population.. The frequency of use of an individual professional practice that addressed technology that could be aligned with the social model disability was associated with reduced disparities in rates of employment and post-secondary graduation, as was an aggregate variable that represented the average frequency of use of professional practices that addressed concerns related to the attitudes of others; social connections; and access to the environment, print, and technology that could be aligned with the social model of disability. In addition, the professional practice that addressed environmental access concerns that could be aligned with the political model of disability was associated with reduced disparities post-secondary graduation rates and the professional practice that addressed access to print concerns that could be aligned with the social model of disability was associated with reduced disparities in rates of employment. Overall, participants cited personal professional experience as the main source of influence for initiating practices regardless of the model of disability with which each practice could be aligned. At the same time, participant responses suggested that those practices that could be aligned with the medical model were more likely to be known to the participant and originate from personal professional experiences than practices that aligned with the social model and the political model. The results from this study suggested that of the external influences, laws and regulations may have been the most influential in initiating practices that could be aligned with the social model of disability and subsequently associated with positive educational and employment outcomes. The data generated through the interviews reinforced the survey findings but also revealed pragmatic perspectives on disability that informed practice, including the use of multiple models of disability at the same time in response to individual situations.
Degree ProgramGraduate College