Article

Employer Knowledge of and Attitudes Toward Employees Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired as Employees

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Abstract

Introduction The study presented here investigated employers’ knowledge about how persons who are blind or visually impaired perform typical job tasks (that is, use accommodations), how this knowledge relates to employers’ attitudes about these individuals as employees, and where employers seek help with job accommodations. Methods Businesses from four states were contacted by telephone to request participation; surveys were completed by 160 randomly selected businesses and 37 businesses referred by vocational rehabilitation agencies, yielding a total sample of 197. A 5-item instrument measured employers’ knowledge about how blind or visually impaired persons complete typical job tasks, and an 11-item instrument measured employers’ attitudes toward blind or visually impaired persons as employees. Results A majority of employers (67%) could not identify how blind or visually impaired persons perform any of the typical job tasks. Employers referred by vocational rehabilitation agencies were more likely to identify correct strategies than employers in the randomly identified sample. Knowledge levels were associated with attitudes toward blind or visually impaired persons as employees. Only 8.8% of the randomly identified sample cited an appropriate source of information about accommodations; 49.7% cited a secondary source and 41.5% were not able to identify an appropriate source. Discussion Most employers have limited or no knowledge about how blind or visually impaired persons perform routine job tasks. Those employers with greater levels of knowledge also had more positive attitudes toward blind or visually impaired persons as employees. It is encouraging that many employers were aware of an appropriate or secondary source of information about accommodations, and would therefore be likely to find such information if needed. Implications for practitioners Providing education to employers and human resources professionals about job accommodations, including where to find additional information, is necessary and would be an appropriate strategy to use when interacting with employers.

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... The programs failed since these skills left the visually disabled unemployable. Though career choices are abundant today, the visually disabled continue to deal with issues when seeking employment due to reasons outside of skills (McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014). ...
... According to Harkin (2012), McDonnall et al. (2014) and McDonnall and Crudden (2015b) visually disabled individuals are not in the workforce in comparison to their sighted counterparts and often use services from the Social Security Administration (SSA, 2015;SSA, 2016). The result may have a direct effect on the living standards of the visually disabled often leading to poverty (Hoff, 2013). ...
... The results of this study attempted to advance the knowledge of Befring (1997), McDonnall et al. (2013), McDonnall et al. (2013), McDonnall (2014), McDonnall et al. (2014), McDonnall, andCrudden (2015a), Crudden (2015b), McDonnall et al. (2015), McDonnall (2016), Noë (2004) and Zhou, Smith, Parker, and Griffin-Shirley, (2013). Another factor that may contribute to the visually disabled descending into poverty is low levels of federal disability cash benefits and the disabled having the perception that going to work would result in the loss of those low levels of cash benefits necessary to live (Hoff, 2013). ...
Research
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I wanted to know how the blind or visually impaired felt about employment after graduating high school? Do they care about employment? Do they seek employment? Are they hopeful? How did they go about seeking employment? Did they have to spend the rest of their lives living on government assistance and how did it make them feel if they do?
... The programs failed since these skills left the visually disabled unemployable. Though career choices are abundant today, the visually disabled continue to deal with issues when seeking employment due to reasons outside of skills (McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014). ...
... According to Harkin (2012), McDonnall et al. (2014) and McDonnall and Crudden (2015b) visually disabled individuals are not in the workforce in comparison to their sighted counterparts and often use services from the Social Security Administration (SSA, 2015;SSA, 2016). The result may have a direct effect on the living standards of the visually disabled often leading to poverty (Hoff, 2013). ...
... The results of this study attempted to advance the knowledge of Befring (1997), McDonnall et al. (2013), McDonnall et al. (2013), McDonnall (2014), McDonnall et al. (2014), McDonnall, andCrudden (2015a), Crudden (2015b), McDonnall et al. (2015), McDonnall (2016), Noë (2004) and Zhou, Smith, Parker, and Griffin-Shirley, (2013). Another factor that may contribute to the visually disabled descending into poverty is low levels of federal disability cash benefits and the disabled having the perception that going to work would result in the loss of those low levels of cash benefits necessary to live (Hoff, 2013). ...
Research
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It was not known how the visually disabled perceived gaining employment or how perception affected employment seeking behaviors within this population. The purpose of this qualitative narrative study was to explore how the visually disabled perceived gaining employment and how perception affected employment seeking behaviors within this population. Action in Perception, and the enrichment perspective were used for this study. Data collection consisted of a list of questions for employed or unemployed participants, offered in print or braille, a demographics questionnaire, and interviews conducted faceto- face or by Zoom Pro. Research participants were 10 visually disabled participants 18 years and older residing in Texas. Theoretical thematic coding with an inductive analysis, hand coding, and NVivo were used for data analysis. Themes chosen prior to research were academic achievement, assistive technology, communication, self-advocacy, independence, interdependence, higher education, perception, vocational rehabilitation, and employment achievement. New themes that emerged during data collection were role models, networking, demonstration, emotional impact, self-employment, telework, and enrichment. Results showed the visually disabled perceived gaining employment as financial independence and perception affected employment seeking behaviors strongest through networking. Keywords: academic achievement, assistive/adaptive technology, demonstration, emotional impact, enrichment, networking, role models, vocational rehabilitation.
... The programs failed since these skills left the visually disabled unemployable. Though career choices are abundant today, the visually disabled continue to deal with issues when seeking employment due to reasons outside of skills (McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014). ...
... According to Harkin (2012), McDonnall et al. (2014) and McDonnall and Crudden (2015b) visually disabled individuals are not in the workforce in comparison to their sighted counterparts and often use services from the Social Security Administration (SSA, 2015;SSA, 2016). The result may have a direct effect on the living standards of the visually disabled often leading to poverty (Hoff, 2013). ...
... The results of this study attempted to advance the knowledge of Befring (1997), McDonnall et al. (2013), McDonnall et al. (2013), McDonnall (2014), McDonnall et al. (2014), McDonnall, andCrudden (2015a), Crudden (2015b), McDonnall et al. (2015), McDonnall (2016), Noë (2004) and Zhou, Smith, Parker, and Griffin-Shirley, (2013). Another factor that may contribute to the visually disabled descending into poverty is low levels of federal disability cash benefits and the disabled having the perception that going to work would result in the loss of those low levels of cash benefits necessary to live (Hoff, 2013). ...
Thesis
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It was not known how the visually disabled perceived gaining employment or how perception affected employment seeking behaviors within this population. The purpose of this qualitative narrative study was to explore how the visually disabled perceived gaining employment and how perception affected employment seeking behaviors within this population. Action in Perception, and the enrichment perspective were used for this study. Data collection consisted of a list of questions for employed or unemployed participants, offered in print or braille, a demographics questionnaire, and interviews conducted faceto- face or by Zoom Pro. Research participants were 10 visually disabled participants 18 years and older residing in Texas. Theoretical thematic coding with an inductive analysis, hand coding, and NVivo were used for data analysis. Themes chosen prior to research were academic achievement, assistive technology, communication, self-advocacy, independence, interdependence, higher education, perception, vocational rehabilitation, and employment achievement. New themes that emerged during data collection were role models, networking, demonstration, emotional impact, self-employment, telework, and enrichment. Results showed the visually disabled perceived gaining employment as financial independence and perception affected employment seeking behaviors strongest through networking. Keywords: academic achievement, assistive/adaptive technology, demonstration, emotional impact, enrichment, networking, role models, vocational rehabilitation.
... Furthermore, McDonnall and colleagues [49] and Nota and colleagues' [4] results show that people tend to more positively rate individuals with a disability in their social acceptability than work performance. In line with these studies, peoples' awareness about how a colleague with a disability can perform the essential job functions is one potential path to improving their work performance attitudes towards this population as employees. ...
... McDonnall et al. [49] demonstrated that a vast majority of people in a work context are not knowledgeable about how people with a disability perform typical job tasks, and this lack of knowledge may negatively affect colleagues' attitudes. ...
Article
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Background: The present study investigates the significance of work inclusion in people with a disability and then aims to examine colleagues' attitudes. Considering Stone and Colella's model, we analyzed the colleagues' attitudes and variables related to the disability, such as type of disability and type of presentation of colleagues with disability, and colleague's characteristics, such as gender, educational level, and experience in work with people with disability. Method: We randomly assigned two hundred eighty-six employees to a standard condition (hypothetical colleagues with a disability presented by the impairments labels) or favorable condition (hypothetical colleagues with a disability presented by their past work experiences). Results: The type of disability and its presentation influence colleagues' attitudes. Besides employees' gender, educational level and experience in work with people with a disability influences the attitudes toward them. Conclusions: Implications for practice were discussed.
... U.S. population ages in the coming decades, the prevalence of visual impairment (i.e., blindness or low vision) is expected to increase (Varma et al., 2016). Most adults who are visually impaired have not been fully assimilated into the workforce, despite the emergence of adaptive technologies and the ratification of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Heiden, 1989;Kirchner, 1985;McDonnall et al., 2014;Nagle, 2001;Nevala et al., 2015;O'Donnell, 2014;Roberts, 1992), which prohibited discrimination in employment. In 2016, only 43.5% of working-age Americans (aged 21-64 years) with visual disabilities were employed, compared with 76.8% of working-age Americans who do not have disabilities (Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics, 2017). ...
... Negative societal attitudes have been frequently reported as important social barriers to employment (see McDonnall et al., 2015;McDonnall et al., 2014). Considering physical barriers, transportation issues have consistently been found to pose barriers to employment for individuals with visual impairments (Crudden et al., 2005;Lukyanova et al., 2015;McDonnall, 2011;Shaw et al., 2007). ...
Article
Introduction In this study, the author examined the association between general self-efficacy (GSE) and employment status in working-age adults with retinitis pigmentosa (RP; N = 183). The author further examined the associations between employment status and factors that were previously found to be linked to employment outcomes in individuals with visual impairments: educational attainment, mobility tool use (i.e., use of dog guide or cane), ability to drive, age, gender, and age at onset of visual impairment. Methods Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze cross-sectional data collected online in 2015. Results Findings indicated that individuals with RP who have a bachelor’s degree or higher had significantly higher odds of being employed ( p < .01) and that individuals with RP who use a cane or dog guide had significantly lower odds of being employed ( p < .01). Although not statistically significant, findings further indicated that individuals with RP who have higher GSE had higher odds of being employed ( p = .07) and that individuals who are able to drive had 130% higher odds of being employed ( p = .06). Discussion Results demonstrated an association between GSE and employment status, after controlling for factors that were previously linked to employment outcomes in individuals with visual impairment. Implications for practitioners Self-efficacy is an alterable cognitive construct and may be the target of interventions to increase employment outcomes for adults with RP or other eye conditions.
... Employers' negative attitudes, biases, and lack of knowledge have been cited as significant barriers to employment for people who are blind and visually impaired in the United States (Capella McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014;Lynch, 2013) and for people with other disabilities in other countries (Foster & Wass, 2013;Kitchin, Shirlow, & Shuttleworth, 1998;Price, Salzer, O'Shea, & Kerschbaum, 2017;Sarrett, 2017). Through rhetorical analysis of accounts of workplace interactions from the perspectives of people who are blind and visually impaired in the United States, I identify specific assumptions about work and working bodies that shape attitudes and arguments about access in workplaces. ...
... These claims are communicated in interactions between disabled workers and their employers, potential employers, and colleagues, and the hegemonic power of normative workplace commonplaces often leaves disabled workers with the challenging rhetorical labor of destabilizing commonplaces to gain access. Whereas previous researchers identified access barriers like employer attitudes, biases, and lack of knowledge (Capella McDonnall et al., 2014;Foster & Wass, 2013;Kitchin et al., 1998;Lynch, 2013;Price et al., 2017;Sarrett, 2017), and sociologists identified everyday interactions in workplaces as sites where access is often negotiated (Engel & Munger, 2003;O'Brien, 2004), this study specifically identifies five normative workplace commonplaces that provide rhetorical resources for ableist claims about work and working bodies. This study answers calls in business communication for more theoretical knowledge of interpersonal communication (DeKay, 2012;Hynes, 2012;Robles, 2012) by demonstrating how ableist assumptions about work are often implicitly reinforced in interpersonal communication. ...
Article
This article investigates how normative attitudes about work construct barriers to workers who are blind and visually impaired. The researcher collected narratives about rhetorical experiences from blind and visually impaired participants in the United States and analyzed accounts of these workplace interactions to identify rhetorical commonplaces that drive arguments about work. These commonplaces reveal the ableist assumptions that construct access barriers and constrain rhetorical possibilities for disabled workers’ self-advocacy. The author proposes that business and professional communication students and practitioners should engage in collaborative approaches to flexible thinking and leadership necessary for reimagining work in ways that promote accessibility.
... The rendering of specialized schooling services (Capella-McDonnall, 2005;Duquette & Baril, 2013;Goertz et al., 2010;Lee & Park, 2007;Leonard et al., 1999;McDonnall & Crudden, 2009;Shaw et al., 2007); Living environment (Bell & Mino, 2013;Duquette & Baril, 2013;Goertz et al., 2010;Shaw et al., 2007); Place of residence (Duquette & Baril, 2013;Lee & Park, 2008); And the workplace (attitude and accessibility) (Duquette & Baril, 2013;Golub, 2006;McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014). ...
... According to Slade and Simkiss, cited in Duquette and Baril (2013), the attitude and behaviour of a potential employer can constitute an obstacle to being hired, as 24% of visually impaired persons have experienced. Additionally, most employers possess a limited knowledge of resources that can help visually impaired people, often showing ignorance toward aspects surrounding their capacities and security at work (Duquette & Baril, 2013;McDonnall et al., 2014;O'Day, 1999). In fact, as the study by McDonnall and colleagues (2014) revealed that the majority of employers proved unable to identify the severity of the disability of their employees. ...
Article
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Objective: This study aims to determine the significance that visually impaired people give to their work and to define the obstacles and facilitators related to their integration into the workforce. Methodology: 52 adults with a visual impairment in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Quebec, Canada, participated in a study aiming to learn about their professional trajectory, the meaning they give to work, and the perceived influence of the social and physical factors of their environment. Results: The analysis shows that it is important for work to be stimulating and for it to allow self-realisation. The respondents assert that work is an activity which is not accessible to all, but which still permits autonomy. Technical help and technology are considered facilitators to work integration, while limited access to information, the attitude of colleagues and employers, and the difficulty of adapting to the labor market are seen as obstacles. Conclusion: Results show the importance of sensitizing employers and the work environment to the reality of visually impaired people to foster their integration in an optimal manner.
... The analysis of scientific literature (Gudonis, Klopota, 2017), (Ermakov, Seliverstova, 2002), , (Kobylchenko, 2016), (Tyushev, 2008), (McDonnall, O'Mally, Crudden 2014) suggests that the concept of 'competence' reflects a certain level of the person's professionalism. The term 'professional' we understand as a special property of human who efficiently, systematically, reliably performs complex actions in the most diverse conditions. ...
Article
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The transparency of the data analysis process is one of the main criteria for the empirical reliability of qualitative biographical research based on the life history method (LHM). The aim of the paper is to examine the transparency of the data analysis process used in published scientific papers based on LHM. The results show that the data analysis process is not fully transparent. Two kinds of analysis process were mainly used in research with LHM: categorical content analysis and portrayal. Our aims in this paper were first to develop an overview of how empirical data had been analysed by other researchers using LHM, and second to examine and discuss the transparency of the process. We use LHM to investigate teachers’ values in relation to societal values in order to answer the question of how societal values affect teachers’ lives. The sample is comprised of teachers from Estonia, which has experienced a rapid change from an ideology- to a market-based society, providing us with a unique opportunity to analyse the relationship. Among other things, LHM enables us to examine the ‘hidden history’ of those whose story differs from recorded history.
... Barriers that have been identified are: difficulty with transportation (Rumrill, Schuyler & Longden, 1997;Samuel et al, 2013;Crudden et al, 2015;Cmar et al, 2018); history of illness; and discrimination of women and those with low levels of education (Wehbi & El, 2007;Harrabi, Aubin, Zunzunegui, Haddad & Freeman 2014). Other barriers include a lack of general awareness about visual impairments or the attitudes of the public and employers towards people who are blind (McBroom, 1995;McDonnall, O'Mally & Crudden, 2014). Inadequate funding for adaptive equipment and lack of assistive technology (Malakpa, 1994), and the absence of role models (Young, 1994) are also barriers according to some other studies (Wehbi & El, 2007). ...
... In this context, networks have a role to open up opportunities for disability to obtain their right to work and able to reduce the stigma that has been inherent in persons with disabilities as well. In previous studies, stigma is one of the biggest obstacles for persons with disabilities in obtaining their rights, including the right to work (Bengisu et al., 2008;Coffey et al., 2014;O'Donnell, 2014;McDonnall et al., 2018;O'Day, 1999). The decision of the company leader in recruiting people with visual impairments and trying to accommodate their needs in the workplace is evidence of the existence of informal norms in a business organization. ...
... Employer discrimination and employer attitudes are continually identified as common barriers (see Crudden et al., 1998;Dong et al., 2017;McDonnall et al., 2013). However, several studies have been conducted to examine ways to address employer attitudes and knowledge about people with visual impairments McDonnall et al., 2014;McDonnall et al., 2013) to hopefully mitigate the barrier of negative employer attitudes. ...
... The analysis of scientific literature (Gudonis, Klopota, 2017), (Ermakov, Seliverstova, 2002), , (Kobylchenko, 2016), (Tyushev, 2008), (McDonnall, O'Mally, Crudden 2014) suggests that the concept of 'competence' reflects a certain level of the person's professionalism. The term 'professional' we understand as a special property of human who efficiently, systematically, reliably performs complex actions in the most diverse conditions. ...
Article
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The article contains the results of an experimental analysis of the peculiarities and prospects of the interaction of specialists with blindness with their potential employers. Young people with blindness and chiefs of different organizations and institutions (potential employers) took part in the experimental analysis of the readiness for interaction in professional activities. We have received positive dynamics in influencing the emotional component of self-identity of people with profound visual impairment; tendency on a behavior, focused on solving the problem; increasing the level of self-control and independence of other people‘s estimation. On the other hand, the most of potential employers have proven themselves in full capability of people with visual impairment, who can provide a productive professional career.
... Although the results of this report are done in the United States, in general, the ratio of the number of workers with visual impairment and labor without disabilities is similar to other countries. These very striking differences occur due to various factors, both internal factors such as the skills of the person, access to employment information, the disability itself (O'Day, 1999) as well as external factors such as knowledge and attitudes of employers towards the blind (McDonnall, Crudden, & O'Mally, 2015;McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014;McDonnall et al., 2013). Moreover, O'Day (1999) have categorized the barriers into three categories namely personal (internal), societal (interaction with the community) and programming barriers. ...
... The openended responses to this "how" portion of the question were scored for accuracy. Extensive pilot coding was conducted in a previous study to develop a coding scheme for determining accuracy of descriptions of how each job task could be performed by an employee who is visually impaired (McDonnall, O'Mally, &Crudden, 2014). Using the previously devised coding scheme, two researchers independently coded the data for this study. ...
... Frank and Bellini (2005) also found broken trust between individuals with disabilities and their workplace in the accommodation process. Research has found that em ployers' attitudes toward individuals with visual impairments were associated with their knowledge about the disability: employers with greater levels of knowledge about visual im pairments also have more positive attitudes toward employees who are blind or visually impaired (McDonnall, O 'Mally, & Crudden, 2014). The current study and the previous literature highlight the importance of enhancing ADA and accommoda tion knowledge for employers. ...
Article
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This study examined the barriers to request workplace accommodations by individuals with visual impairments. The authors created and administered an online survey that was distributed to agencies serving individuals with visual impairments. The survey included demographic information, and type and cost of accommodations requested or considered but did not request. In addition, participants were asked to complete two open-ended questions about barriers and facilitators to request accommodations in the accommodation process. A content analysis approach in combination with basic quantitative descriptive method was used to analyze the responses to open-ended questions, and types and cost of accommodations in this study. One hundred sixteen participants completed the survey. Among them, 80 participants offered 118 comments related to barriers and facilitators in requesting accommodations. Seven themes in relation to barriers and facilitators in accommodation requests were identified: Employees' lack of confidence in requesting accommodations, employees' fears and concerns of seeking accommodations, employees' and employers' lack of knowledge on accommodation and ADA, employers' attitude and workplace culture, accommodation requesting procedural issues, and facilitative strategies on requesting accommodations. The authors discussed the implications for rehabilitation professionals to help individuals with visual impairments and their employers/supervisors to overcome barriers in requesting and providing accommodations.
... A recent study (McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014) found that most em ployers were unaware of how people with vision loss could perform typical job tasks. In particular, less than one-quarter were aware of how people with visual impairments could access general office equipment. ...
Article
Introduction This article investigates the use of multifunction printers by individuals with vision loss, and explores current accessibility solutions to determine the extent of accessibility and usability for those who are visually impaired, with suggestions for improvement. Methods A usability study conducted in early 2014 recruited 10 volunteers with varied degrees of vision loss and user experience. Each performed four tasks on the Lexmark, Canon, and Ricoh multifunction printer accessibility solutions. An online survey conducted between October 2011 and April 2012 used a volunteer sample recruited through advertising and distribution in private organizations. The sample consisted of 26 individuals who were blind and 34 who had low vision; all participants had experience using multifunction printers. The sample was comprised of 58% women, 83% white, and 78% college graduates. The median age range was 45 to 54 years old. Results The usability study respondents had a high success rate in performing tasks, averaging a rating of 4.5 out of 5, and scores increased over the four tasks. Participants preferred the Lexmark machine due to its familiar QWERTY keyboard interface. Most survey respondents (80%) use a multifunction printer at home for personal use; 67% use multifunction printers in the workplace. Fifty-eight percent used assistive technology with their multifunction printers. The most important multifunction printer function was printing, followed by scanning and copying. Faxing was least important. Those with low vision were more likely to use the multifunction printer's copy function than those who were blind ( p < .002). To improve accessibility, respondents suggested higher contrast, larger characters, speech output, and tactile controls. Discussion People with vision loss use multifunction printers at work and home. Current accessibility solutions for multifunction printers work well for individuals with vision loss, but there is much room for improvement. Manufacturers should be urged to implement suggestions from research participants to increase the accessibility of their products.
... [18,19] However, there is no gap in educational dropout and graduation rates to explain this difference, [19,20] although external factors such as negative attitudes of employers and inaccessible work environments have also shown to be a major barrier to employment. [21,22] With regard to participation, young adults most frequently face challenges related to mobility, domestic life, communication, interpersonal interaction and relationships, general tasks and demands, major life areas, and leisure activities. [23,24] However, previous studies focused only on the impact of visual impairment on particular life aspects, such as social relations, intimate relations, study or work. ...
Article
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Purpose: While the impact of visual impairments on specific aspects of young adults’ lives is well recognised, a systematic understanding of its impact on all life aspects is lacking. This study aims to provide an overview of life aspects affected by visual impairment in young adults (aged 18–25 years) using a concept-mapping approach. Method: Visually impaired young adults (n = 22) and rehabilitation professionals (n = 16) participated in online concept-mapping workshops (brainstorm procedure), to explore how having a visual impairment influences the lives of young adults. Statements were categorised based on similarity and importance. Using multidimensional scaling, concept maps were produced and interpreted. Results: A total of 59 and 260 statements were generated by young adults and professionals, respectively, resulting in 99 individual statements after checking and deduplication. The combined concept map revealed 11 clusters: work, study, information and regulations, social skills, living independently, computer, social relationships, sport and activities, mobility, leisure time, and hobby. Conclusions: The concept maps provided useful insight into activities influenced by visual impairments in young adults, which can be used by rehabilitation centres to improve their services. This might help in goal setting, rehabilitation referral and successful transition to adult life, ultimately increasing participation and quality of life. • Implications for rehabilitation • Having a visual impairment affects various life-aspects related to participation, including activities related to work, study, social skills and relationships, activities of daily living, leisure time and mobility. • Concept-mapping helped to identify the life aspects affected by low vision, and quantify these aspects in terms of importance according to young adults and low vision rehabilitation professionals. • Low vision rehabilitation centres should focus on all life aspects found in this study when identifying the needs of young adults, as this might aid goal setting and rehabilitation referral, ultimately leading to more successful transitions, better participation and quality of life.
... In another example, sample participants were most willing to delegate tasks of filing documents to workers with psychiatric disabilities (e.g., people with mental illness) and, least willing to delegate direct customer service tasks to these same workers. Combined, these findings may suggest that Hispanic small business owners are correct in some of their appraisals of what people with certain disabilities can or cannot do (Gilbride et al., 2000) but that they lack knowledge about the effective job accommodations (e.g., Braille, assistive technology, on-the-job supports) proven to remedy disability-related barriers for many employees with disabilities (Hernandez et al., 2000;McDonnall, O'Mally, & Crudden, 2014). ...
Article
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BACKGROUND: Employment of people with disabilities continues to be a concern in the field of rehabilitation counseling. Employment rates remain low, resulting in many people with disabilities living at or below the poverty line. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of Hispanic small business owners toward hiring people with disabilities. METHODS: The 38-item Employer Attitudes Questionnaire (EAQ) and the 33-item Small Business Owners Survey (SBOS) were used to investigate attitudes and concerns about hiring issues along with the business owners' general feelings toward the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Survey packets were distributed in the business districts of two selected cities in southern Texas. Two hundred and seventeen participants took part in the study. RESULTS: The findings suggest that there is a range of views about the capabilities of workers from various disability categories as well as differing opinions on the cost of reasonable accommodations. The results of a regression analysis yielded three significant predictors influencing hiring decisions: whether the business owner had a family member or a friend with a disability, the business owner's marital status, and their awareness of the ADA. CONCLUSIONS: There is a continuing need to educate small business owners about disability- and employment-rights legislation; however, cost considerations to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities seem to be significantly more important for small business owners than for large corporations.
Article
Introduction: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 reinforced the state federal vocational rehabilitation program's commitment to job retention and career advancement for persons with disabilities. We continue to have limited information about what job-related skills are most helpful to persons with visual impairments in retaining or advancing in employment. Method: Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to investigate the association between current employment status and skills among persons with visual impairments who had a competitive employment history. Data were from a national volunteer survey of persons with visual impairments born between 1950 and 1991. Snowball sampling methods generated the sample. Results: Persons with professional licensure or certificates were more than twice as likely to be employed as those who did not possess these qualifications. Employed participants were less likely to need job-related training to find or keep a job. Discussion: Though additional research to explore the relationships between skills and employment is indicated, persons with visual impairments should be encouraged to explore and pursue job skills training and professional licensure or certification in fields compatible with their career goals. Implications for Practitioners: Even persons with a work history may need additional job skills training to continue employment. Professional licensure or certification may be of value in obtaining employment, but persons with visual impairments may need support to obtain those credentials. Careful career planning to promote positive employment outcomes should include research about the credentials associated with employment goals.
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Background: People with visual impairment or blindness (PWVIB) face many barriers related to employment. Although literature explores employers’ concerns regarding the employment of PWVIB, stating the concern and developing a solution are different. Objectives: Employers’ solutions to concerns regarding hiring PWVIB have not been surveyed. This study addresses the gap by surveying employers to determine practical solutions and developing the Solutions for Improving Employment of People with Visual Disabilities (SIEPVD) model. Methods: We employed a mixed-method design based on the 975 completed surveys from employers with hiring authority. We also identified and tagged major themes and developed an empirical model. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was employed to test the model’s goodness of fit. Results: Findings highlight the need for evidence of job capabilities such as financial incentives, information provision, and adequate job vacancies. Evidence or financial incentives directly and positively affect employers’ attitudes toward hiring PWVIB. Financial incentives also mediate information provision and job match with employers’ attitudes toward hiring PWVIB. Conclusions: This is the first study to perform employers’ integration by creating solutions to increase PWVIB’s employment rate. Results may help PWVIB in its employment efforts. Thus, the approach when applying for jobs or attending interviews should be reviewed. Practical contributions are discussed.
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Background: Over the years, persons with disabilities have suffered unjustifiably due to a low employment rate, largely the result of unsupportive and negative attitude from employers. Such attitudes are exacerbated during periods of economic stress, with a case par excellence being the current COVID-19 pandemic. Prior studies have addressed common concerns of employers within the workplace. However, the dimensions of these concerns extend beyond the internal working environment, to the outward-facing work environment, involving interactions with customers and suppliers. These concerns have not, thus far, been properly addressed. Objective: To develop the Service from People With Visual Impairment (SPVI) psychometric measure, a 6-item employers' attitude assessment tool. Methods: This study is based on 1,036 questionnaires collected using Online Panel Data (OPD), from managers who have hiring authority. We performed Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) for discriminant and convergent validity. Finally, we present an empirical model comprising a stable single factor and establish predictive validity using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Results: CFA showed good fit to the observed data; CMIN/DF = 1.94, p > 0.05, CFI = 1, TLI = 0.99, NFI = 1, RMSEA = 0.03. SEM showed good fit; CMIN/DF = 1.91, CFI = 1, TLI = 0.99, NFI = 0.99, RMSEA = 0.03. Conclusion: The results suggest that the instrument could become a pragmatic tool to assess employer attitudes to employ people with visual impairment or blindness due to external work environment concerns. The tool is relevant to a wide range of circumstances, including economic downturns. Practical considerations are discussed.
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BACKGROUND: People with blindness and low vision (BLV) encounter many obstacles in retaining employment. Recent legislation has refocused vocational rehabilitation (VR) efforts toward job retention and career advancement among persons with disabilities. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the skills, including technology, and other issues that influenced job retention among persons with BLV to gain in-depth knowledge that is not typically available using survey methods or secondary data sources. METHODS: Intensive interviews using a semi-structured protocol were conducted with 11 persons with BLV and an employment history. Interviews were transcribed, summarized by major themes, and approved by participants. A qualitative software program assisted in further coding, identifying additional themes, and organizing participants’ information. RESULTS: Participants recommended that others with BLV be proficient in assistive technology use, develop networks, and be persistent in achieving goals. Participants had positive and challenging experiences with technology, employers, and the VR service delivery system. Participants reported stress associated with their jobs and concern about their workplace efficiency. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that job retention continues to be problematic for persons with BLV. Service delivery systems should explore policies and services that support job retention. Further research concerning job stress, assistive technology, and workplace efficiency is needed.
Article
Introduction: Long-held societal beliefs about the incompetence and dependence of people who are blind are thought to contribute to their low employment rates. This experimental study examined the impact of a meeting between a vocational rehabilitation (VR) professional and a hiring manager on these beliefs, or implicit attitudes, about the competence of people who are blind. Method: Participants were 57 hiring managers working for a financial services company in the southern United States who participated in a one-hour meeting with a VR professional. Two VR professionals, one sighted and one blind, conducted the meetings, utilizing one of two approaches, resulting in a 4 (group) × 3 (time) experimental design. Implicit attitudes were measured with the Implicit Association Test-Blind & Visually Impaired (IAT-BVI) at pre-test, post-test, and a 4-month follow-up and data were analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA. Results: IAT-BVI scores decreased significantly following the meeting, though the size of the change was small. Type of approach and the interaction between approach and the VR professional’s vision status were not significantly associated with IAT-BVI change. Although vision status was not significantly associated with IAT-BVI change, follow-up analyses documented that participants who met with the blind VR professional had a significant decrease in IAT-BVI scores. Discussion: Hiring managers’ implicit attitudes significantly improved following a meeting with a VR professional, providing evidence that a brief interaction can decrease employers’ implicit bias regarding the competence of blind people. In addition, hiring managers who met with the blind VR professional showed significant improvement in their implicit attitudes after the meeting, with a medium-to-large effect. Implications for Practice: VR professionals should communicate with employers as much as possible about the work capabilities of individuals who are blind to help improve their implicit attitudes, and be aware that incorporating exposure to a competent blind person may result in a greater impact.
Article
BACKGROUND: Negative employer attitudes are a primary factor associated with low employment rates and high unemployment rates of people with blindness and low vision (B/LV). Research has identified correlates of employer attitudes, but no investigations of the structural relationships between variables have been published. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to extend the current research regarding employer attitudes toward people with B/LV by assessing the structural relationship between variables associated with employer attitudes. METHODS: Participants were 387 hiring managers employed by organizations across the country who completed an online survey. We utilized structural equation modeling to confirm our measurement model and evaluate structural models of predicted relationships between variables. RESULTS: Five variables significantly predicted employer attitudes: awareness of people with disabilities at the worksite, knowledge, inaccurate belief in knowledge, previous hiring of someone with B/LV, and having a personal relationship with someone with B/LV. Previous communication with vocational rehabilitation (VR), having a company policy about hiring people with disabilities, and personal relationship predicted having hired someone with B/LV. CONCLUSIONS: Findings support the value of VR professionals providing education about how people with B/LV perform work tasks while communicating with employers and providing trial work experiences to encourage hiring.
Article
Problem Disability issues have long been a topic at the margins of HRD research and have rarely been examined outside the United States context or with a focus on a specific disability type. Additionally, largely due to a homogeneous national culture, people with disabilities in South Korea experience unique barriers in career development. Solution The authors report the findings of a multiple case study on the career attainment experiences of lawyers with visual impairments in South Korea. Data analyzed from interviews with five participants showed that various individual (perseverance, identity as a person with a visual impairment, self-advocacy, and strategic mindset) and social (family and peer support, reasonable accommodation, precedent, and having a leader with a vision for inclusion) factors contributed to their career attainment. Stakeholders The findings of this study can aid organizational leaders, hiring managers, HRD practitioners in charge of providing reasonable accommodations, and educators of people with disabilities.
Article
Introduction Accommodations are essential for the successful participation of individuals with visual impairments in post-secondary education and employment. Passive experiences with accommodations in school, plus a complex advocacy process warrant the need to support students to engage in the accommodations process. Methods Four high school students with visual impairments were taught the Student Self-Accommodation Strategy. A parallel multiple-case design was used to determine how and how well the participants learned and used the strategy and to investigate their development of metacognitive knowledge and self-regulated learning (SRL) skills. Results The participants all learned the strategy to varying extents. The cross-case analysis revealed that recall and understanding the purpose of the strategy supported strategy performance but were not associated with in-class use of the strategy. Additionally, participants did not experience changes with metacognition or SRL; however, they did demonstrate metacognitive knowledge on multiple data sources, with few demonstrations of SRL. Discussion Findings indicate that the Student Self-Accommodation Strategy is accessible to students with visual impairments. Three factors seemed to be associated with the learning and use of the strategy: verbal and reasoning skills, achievement, and emotional-behavioral regulation. Metacognition and SRL can positively affect students with visual impairments. Implications Future work with the Student Self-Accommodation Strategy should incorporate in-class strategy coaching and an explicit investigation of the factors that seemed to influence strategy learning and performance. Research and practice should give greater attention to metacognition and SRL for students with visual impairments.
Conference Paper
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Εισαγωγή: Η εργασία αποτελεί ένα από τα θεμελιώδη ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα σε όλες τις ανεπτυγμένες χώρες παγκοσμίως. Ειδικότερα, η εργασία ή ακριβέστερα το δικαίωμα των ατόμων με αναπηρία στην εργασία είναι το τελευταίο στάδιο της μακράς και πολυσύνθετης διαδικασίας αποκατάστασης τους, που επηρεάζει την κοινωνική τους ενσωμάτωση. Η έλλειψη, όμως, κατάλληλης εκπαίδευσης και ενημέρωσης, οδηγεί πολλά νέα άτομα με αναπηρία να εισέρχονται στην αγορά εργασίας χωρίς πρώτα να έχουν λάβει την απαραίτητη προετοιμασία για να ανταποκριθούν στις απαιτήσεις ενός δυναμικού και ανταγωνιστικού εργατικού περιβάλλοντος. Σκοπός: Σκοπός της παρούσας έρευνας είναι να διερευνηθούν οι απόψεις των γονέων μαθητών, που φοιτούν σε Ε.Ε.Ε.Ε.Κ. (Ειδικό Εργαστήριο Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης) του Πειραιά και του Αιγάλεω, ώστε να διαπιστωθεί, εάν και κατά πόσο γνωρίζουν, τι είδους εργασιακές ευκαιρίες μπορούν να προσφερθούν στα παιδιά τους, μετά την αποφοίτηση τους από την δομή, εάν και κατά πόσο γνωρίζουν, την κλίση, που έχουν τα παιδιά τους σε συγκεκριμένα εργαστήρια και συγκεκριμένες ειδικότητες, και, εν ολίγοις, εάν έχουν απευθυνθεί σε κάποιον ειδικό, ώστε να λάβει το παιδί τους επαγγελματική συμβουλευτική και καθοδήγηση. Μέθοδος: Για την επίτευξη του σκοπού της παρούσας έρευνας χορηγήθηκε ένα άτυπο ερωτηματολόγιο σε τρία Ε.Ε.Ε.Ε.Κ. των δυτικών προαστίων. Συγκεκριμένα, 333 χορηγήθηκαν σαράντα πέντε ερωτηματολόγια, εκ των οποίων απαντήθηκαν τα είκοσι έξι. Ελήφθησαν σοβαρά υπ' όψιν η εκπαίδευση των γονέων, το επάγγελμα των γονέων, το φύλο των γονέων, το φύλο και η ηλικία του εκάστοτε μαθητή και τέλος ο τόπος κατοικίας. Συμπεράσματα: Από την ανάλυση των ερωτηματολογίων εξήχθε το συμπέρασμα, ότι η πλειοψηφία των γονέων δεν έχει απευθυνθεί σε κάποιον ειδικό, ώστε να λάβει το παιδί τους επαγγελματική συμβουλευτική και καθοδήγηση. Οι περισσότεροι γονείς, διαπιστώθηκε, ότι δεν γνώριζαν την έφεση των παιδιών τους σε συγκεκριμένα εργαστήρια των Ε.Ε.Ε.Ε.Κ., και, ως εκ τούτου, δεν γνώριζαν τι είδους επαγγελματικές ευκαιρίες ανταποκρίνονταν στις ιδιαίτερες ικανότητες του παιδιού τους.
Article
Research on the employment experiences of persons with disabilities on a global level indicates that this group is faced with the challenge of inclusion in the workplace. While South Africa has a well defined legislative framework that has been determined in consultation with disabled people’s organisations, compliance with legislation appears to have failed to ensure that employment targets are met. As a response to these challenges, this study explored the early inclusion experiences of persons with disabilities in the workplace via a qualitative, explorative, case study
Article
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Εισαγωγή: Η εργασία αποτελεί ένα από τα θεμελιώδη ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα σε όλες τις ανεπτυγμένες χώρες παγκοσμίως. Ειδικότερα, η εργασία ή ακριβέστερα το δικαίωμα των ατόμων με αναπηρία στην εργασία είναι το τελευταίο στάδιο της μακράς και πολυσύνθετης διαδικασίας αποκατάστασης τους, που επηρεάζει την κοινωνική τους ενσωμάτωση. Η έλλειψη, όμως, κατάλληλης εκπαίδευσης και ενημέρωσης, οδηγεί πολλά νέα άτομα με αναπηρία να εισέρχονται στην αγορά εργασίας χωρίς πρώτα να έχουν λάβει την απαραίτητη προετοιμασία για να ανταποκριθούν στις απαιτήσεις ενός δυναμικού και ανταγωνιστικού εργατικού περιβάλλοντος. Σκοπός: Σκοπός της παρούσας έρευνας είναι να διερευνηθούν οι απόψεις των γονέων μαθητών, που φοιτούν σε Ε.Ε.Ε.Ε.Κ. (Ειδικό Εργαστήριο Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης) του Πειραιά και του Αιγάλεω, ώστε να διαπιστωθεί, εάν και κατά πόσο γνωρίζουν, τι είδους εργασιακές ευκαιρίες μπορούν να προσφερθούν στα παιδιά τους, μετά την αποφοίτηση τους από την δομή, εάν και κατά πόσο γνωρίζουν, την κλίση, που έχουν τα παιδιά τους σε συγκεκριμένα εργαστήρια και συγκεκριμένες ειδικότητες, και, εν ολίγοις, εάν έχουν απευθυνθεί σε κάποιον ειδικό, ώστε να λάβει το παιδί τους επαγγελματική συμβουλευτική και καθοδήγηση. Μέθοδος: Για την επίτευξη του σκοπού της παρούσας έρευνας χορηγήθηκε ένα άτυπο ερωτηματολόγιο σε τρία Ε.Ε.Ε.Ε.Κ. των δυτικών προαστίων. Συγκεκριμένα, χορηγήθηκαν σαράντα πέντε ερωτηματολόγια, εκ των οποίων απαντήθηκαν τα είκοσι έξι. Ελήφθησαν σοβαρά υπ’ όψιν η εκπαίδευση των γονέων, το επάγγελμα των γονέων, το φύλο των γονέων, το φύλο και η ηλικία του εκάστοτε μαθητή και τέλος ο τόπος κατοικίας. Συμπεράσματα: Από την ανάλυση των ερωτηματολογίων εξήχθε το συμπέρασμα, ότι η πλειοψηφία των γονέων δεν έχει απευθυνθεί σε κάποιον ειδικό, ώστε να λάβει το παιδί τους επαγγελματική συμβουλευτική και καθοδήγηση. Οι περισσότεροι γονείς, διαπιστώθηκε, ότι δεν γνώριζαν την έφεση των παιδιών τους σε συγκεκριμένα εργαστήρια των Ε.Ε.Ε.Ε.Κ., και, ως εκ τούτου, δεν γνώριζαν τι είδους επαγγελματικές ευκαιρίες ανταποκρίνονταν στις ιδιαίτερες ικανότητες του παιδιού τους.
Article
Introduction Employed applicants for vocational rehabilitation need timely services to improve the likelihood of their successful job retention or career advancement. Little research exists that examines timeliness of services among employed applicants, particularly for applicants with visual disabilities. This study investigated time from vocational rehabilitation application to a signed Individualized Plan for Emplolyment (IPE) for employed applicants with visual disabilities. Method The sample of 5,096 competitively employed vocational rehabilitation applicants from the FY2015 RSA-911 report was combined with survey responses from 51 vocational rehabilitation agencies about services to persons with visual disabilities. Multilevel modeling was used to examine effects of state-level and individual-level characteristics and cross-level interactions on the length of waiting time from vocational rehabilitation application to signed IPE. Results The time from application to IPE was shorter for employed applicants with visual disabilities who received services from separate vocational rehabilitation agencies compared to that of combined vocational rehabilitation agencies. Employed vocational rehabilitation applicants with visual disabilities waited longer if they were younger, non-White, or received disability benefits. Official job-retention policies in state vocational rehabilitation agencies appeared to reduce the delay of IPE implementation for persons with secondary disabilities, for applicants who received disability benefits, and for persons who worked more hours per week. Discussion Additional research to determine how vocational rehabilitation can provide services to employed persons as soon as possible after application is indicated, particularly for persons applying to combined agencies. Implications for practitioners Vocational rehabilitation providers should explore ways to expedite service delivery, particularly for persons who are younger, non-White, or receiving disability benefits. Implementing official vocational rehabilitation policies for addressing job-retention and career-advancement cases may be one avenue to expedite services to some employed applicants.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) in explaining employers’ hiring intentions of people who are blind or visually impaired (B/VI). Participants were 388 hiring managers who completed an online survey that included the four TPB construct measures (attitudes, subjective norms, behavioral control, and intent to hire). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to determine the suitability of the measurement model, and structural equation modeling was used to test the structural model. The proposed TPB structural model provided good data fit; attitudes about productivity, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control accounted for more than 61% of the variance in intent to hire people who are blind. Attitudes about productivity of a blind employee had the strongest relationship with intent to hire, followed by subjective norms and perceived behavioral control. Rehabilitation professionals who work with B/VI individuals should educate employers about how this population can perform the employers’ jobs to improve attitudes about productivity. They should consider employers’ subjective norms and perceived behavioral control, which could be influenced by providing disability awareness presentations to company employees and maintaining a relationship with employers, thus enabling employers to have access to qualified applicants.
Article
We evaluated the ability of an intervention that consisted of a one-on-one meeting between a vocational rehabilitation (VR) professional and an employer to improve employer attitudes, knowledge, and intent to hire people who are blind or visually impaired. We evaluated the relative effectiveness of two approaches (dual customer vs. educational) and the impact of the VR professionals’ vision status (blind or sighted) on our primary outcome measures and on interest in follow-up. Participants were 59 hiring managers employed by a large company who completed measures at three time points: pre, post, and 4-month follow-up. We found that, regardless of approach used or vision status of the VR professional, the intervention was successful at improving employers’ attitudes, knowledge, and intent to hire. The educational approach resulted in increases in knowledge that were retained at follow-up, while the dual customer approach did not. Improvements in intent to hire were not retained at follow-up, suggesting that ongoing contact with employers will be beneficial to positively impact the hiring of people who are blind or visually impaired. These findings are particularly relevant given the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s focus on employer engagement for VR agencies.
Article
Introduction Although negative employer attitudes and reasons that employers do not hire people with disabilities have both been investigated, little research has focused on why employers do hire people with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors associated with employer hiring behavior regarding people with visual impairments, including the opportunity to hire (i.e., application receipt). Method Participants were a national sample of 388 hiring managers who completed an online survey that assessed their hiring experiences concerning people with visual impairments. Two logistic regression models were analyzed, one that included nine independent variables thought to be associated with hiring (Model 1) and one that included these nine variables plus application receipt (Model 2). Results Variables that were significantly associated with hiring behavior in Model 1 were prior communication with vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals, employer attitudes, company size, company policy, and personal relationship with someone with a visual impairment. Significant variables in Model 2 were received application, employer attitudes, and personal relationship. Discussion As expected, application receipt was the most important predictor of hiring behavior, with odds of hiring increasing by more than 40 with receipt of an application. Despite this exceptionally strong relationship, employer attitudes and having a personal relationship remained significant predictors, indicating the robustness of attitudes as a determinant of why employers hire and the importance of personal connections to hiring behavior. Implications for practice Employers cannot hire unless given the opportunity, and the first step to being hired is typically submitting an application. VR professionals should both encourage consumers to submit applications, providing support in this process as needed, and communicate with employers to encourage their consideration of these applications.
Chapter
Work for individuals with visual disabilities is not only a matter of livelihood but also promotes social inclusion and consolidation of their self-image and self-esteem. Lately, legislative and societal changes have improved their career possibilities in the developed countries; however, in some countries such as Greece there is still a deeply embedded aspect that specific effortless occupations fit blindness. Twenty participants with visual disabilities reported via semi-structured interviews their experiences from their workplaces in relation to the career education received from school as well as their career options. They also mentioned obstacles and emotions in their workplaces and commented on their relationships with co-workers and employers. Results revealed the lack of a learning model for career education during school years. As a result, still today telephone operator is the most usual profession in Greece. The basic obstacles in their working environments concerned accommodations and accessibility as well as uncomfortable feelings during work. On the other hand, participants seemed to be very satisfied from their work status considering themselves as active members of the society and equal to their sighted colleagues. The present study put strong emphasis on the contradictory employment experiences of people with visual disabilities, and it discusses the lack of voice for people with visual disabilities, which needs to be strengthened and taken into account by educators, families, and job coaching services in their efforts to develop a supportive working environment.
Article
The passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act has placed increased emphasis on business engagement for vocational rehabilitation agencies, yet many rehabilitation counselors are not prepared to work with businesses. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the initial effectiveness of a business development training for rehabilitation counselors who work with consumers who are blind or visually impaired. A secondary purpose was to report on the sample’s pretraining status on variables associated with business development. Participants were 80 counselors and counselor supervisors employed by four separate agencies who completed the 19-h in-person training. Data were collected from participants prior to and immediately following the training. Outcome variables were self-perceived knowledge, skills, and comfort level with business development activities and measured business development knowledge and self-efficacy. Prior to the training, participants recognized the importance of, and a personal need for training in, business development and perceived moderate levels of comfort, knowledge, and skills. Participants demonstrated statistically significant increases on all outcome measures, with effect sizes ranging from medium to large. These results provide support for the effectiveness of the training in improving business development outcomes in the short term. Additional research is needed to evaluate its long-term effectiveness.
Article
BACKGROUND: Approximately one-third of the working age population of persons with visual disabilities is employed. Recent federal legislation stressed the importance of VR services to assist employed persons with disabilities retain or advance in employment, but we know little about employed VR applicants. OBJECTIVE: This study sought to identify and contrast characteristics and services received by VR consumers with visual disabilities based on employment status at application. METHODS: VR cases from fiscal year 2015 were analyzed using logistic regression. The sample included 4,586 competitively employed applicants and 9,643 unemployed applicants. RESULTS: Competitively employed applicants tended to be White non-Hispanic, older, more educated, and less likely to have non-cognitive disabilities. Competitively employed applicants tended to receive on-the-job supports, rehabilitation technology, counseling and guidance, technical assistance, and diagnosis and treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Competitively employed applicants with visual disabilities have different characteristics and service patterns from unemployed applicants. VR counselors can anticipate applicants' service delivery needs based on their employment status while considering individual goals and circumstances. Future research regarding job retention for competitively employed applicants who are blind or have low vision appears warranted.
Chapter
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Eine Studie über Sehbehinderte im Berufsleben in der Schweiz
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Il n’existait jusqu’ici aucune étude représentative de la situation professionnelle des personnes handicapées de la vue sur le premier marché du travail en Suisse. C’est pourquoi SAMS, l’étude sur le handicap visuel et le marché du travail, mandatée par l’Union centrale suisse pour le bien des aveugles, s’est penchée sur deux questions: d’une part, dans quelle mesure l’égalité des chances au niveau professionnel est réalisée ou non pour les personnes atteintes de handicap visuel en Suisse? D’autre part, quels sont les facteurs personnels et environnementaux ayant une influence positive ou négative sur la carrière professionnelle des personnes atteintes de handicap visuel ? Ces recherches avaient pour objectif de fournir aux organisations du domaine du handicap visuel des résultats leur permettant d’élaborer des mesures afin de réduire, voire d’éliminer, les obstacles et barrières auxquels les personnes handicapées de la vue sont confrontées, et de donner des chances à ces personnes d’avoir une vie professionnelle durable et égalitaire.
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Eine Forschungskooperation der ZHAW und der HES-SO unter der Leitung des Intituts für Vielfalt und gesellschaftliche Teilhabe der ZHAW, Departement Soziale Arbeit.
Article
Background: Negative employer attitudes are often identified as the biggest challenge to employment faced by people who are blind or visually impaired, yet limited research has been conducted in this area. Little is known about the factors that predict employer attitudes toward this population. Objective: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between employer attitudes toward blind and visually impaired people as employees and knowledge about how they can perform specific job tasks (i.e., utilizing job accommodations/assistive technology) in a multivariate model. Methods: Employers in four states completed a telephone survey that included instruments to measure attitudes and knowledge. The sample came from two sources: a randomly identified list of employers in the four states and employer contacts of vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies in two of the states. Data for the multiple regression analyses was available from 181 employers. Results: Three variables significantly predicted employer attitudes: having hired someone who was blind or visually impaired, having communicated with the state VR agency, and knowledge. Conclusions: These findings support the importance of VRagency personnel having meaningful interactions with employers. Two potential focus areas of these interactions are increasing knowledge about job accommodations that can enable blind or visually impaired people to perform necessary job tasks and on-the-job training experiences.
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This review of 37 studies found that employers continue to express positive global attitudes toward workers with disabilities. However, they tend to be more negative when specific attitudes toward these workers are assessed. Although employers are supportive of the ADA as a whole, the employment provisions evoke concern. When appropriate supports are provided, employers express positive attitudes toward workers with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. Affirming earlier reviews, employers with prior positive contact hold favorable attitudes toward workers with disabilities. Employers' expressed willingness to hire applicants with disabilities still exceeds their actual hiring, although this gap is narrowing. Workers with physical disabilities continue to be viewed more positively than workers with intellectual or psychiatric disabilities.
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Examines research on the relation between attitude and behavior in light of the correspondence between attitudinal and behavioral entities. Such entities are defined by their target, action, context, and time elements. A review of available empirical research supports the contention that strong attitude–behavior relations are obtained only under high correspondence between at least the target and action elements of the attitudinal and behavioral entities. This conclusion is compared with the rather pessimistic assessment of the utility of the attitude concept found in much contemporary social psychological literature. (4½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A national mail survey of 176 employed persons who are blind or have low vision found that employment barriers included attitudes of employers and the general public; transportation problems; and lack of access to print, adaptive equipment, and accommodations. Strategies to overcome barriers appear to be addressed on an individual basis, rather than from a macro or policy perspective.
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Traditional vocational services ignore variables related to employer demands and the interaction of employer demand and the environment) as predictors of employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Recently, rehabilitation researchers have begun to advocate for the use of demand-side employment models to help people with disabilities obtain and retain employment. To examine demand-side employment factors that may influence hiring and retention of people with physical disabilities. One hundred and thirty two human resources (HR) managers and line managers were surveyed and the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression and correlation analysis. Managers rated people with disabilities' productivity and reliability between the neutral and agree range. Managers were neutral about their own knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and job accommodation and were similarly neutral about their company's effort to include disability in the company's diversity efforts. Hiring efforts were associated with the company's diversity climate and inclusion of disability in diversity efforts. A hierarchical regression was conducted with results indicating that the demand side factors accounted for a significant portion of the variance in commitment to hire; knowledge of ADA and job accommodation and inclusion of disability in diversity efforts were found to be significantly associated with commitment of the company to hire people with disabilities. HR and hiring managers in the current study were not overly enthusiastic about people with disabilities as reliable and productive employees. ADA and job accommodations training might improve these managers' attitudes toward people with disabilities. Intervention at the senior management level should focus on changing company policies to include disability as part of the company's diversity efforts.
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More than 10 years have passed since the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) came into effect for employers of 15 or more employees. Americans with disabilities continue to be more unemployed and underemployed than their nondisabled peers. Small businesses, with fewer than 500 employees, continue to be the most rapidly growing part of our national economy and therefore a potential source of employment for American job seekers with disabilities. A Cornell University survey of human resource professionals examined how employers of different sizes are complying with the ADA. The authors point to needed ADA and accommodation services that rehabilitation counselors can provide to employers.
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The report is organized into six sections. Section I: "Overview of the Report", introduces the background and purpose of the study. Section II: describes the "Procedure of the Study". Section III: "Persons with Disabilities in the Work Force" reviews literature in the four areas: "definition of disability, status of employment, federal careers, and career advancement". Section IV: Minorities and Women with Disabilities discusses additional hurdles to employment opportunities for individuals who are also members of these groups. Section V identifies barriers to career advancement for persons with disabilities as to attitudes, environmental barriers, inaccessible assistive technology, inadequate education vocational rehabilitation, lack of career development opportunities and financial disincentives. Selected strategies to remove barriers are presented in Section VI. It includes awareness training, workplace accommodations, assistive technology, cooperative education, training programs, recruitment strategies, opportunities for career development, and enterprise development.
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A total of 274 preservice teacher education students were surveyed at the beginning and end of a one-semester unit on Human Development and Education which combined formal instruction with structured fieldwork experiences. The latter included interviewing community members regarding their knowledge of Down syndrome and opinions on inclusive education, and writing an associated report. At the end of semester, not only had student teachers acquired more accurate knowledge of Down syndrome, together with more positive attitudes towards the inclusive education of children with Down syndrome, but their attitudes towards disability in general had also changed, and they reported greater ease when interacting with people with disabilities. The study illustrated the value of combining information-based instruction with structured fieldwork experiences in changing attitudes towards disability and inclusion. It also demonstrated that raising awareness of one disability may lead to changes in attitudes towards disability in general.
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Robert Stensrud is Association Professor of Education, National Rehabilitation Institute, Vocational Rehabilitation in the School of Education at Drake University. He can be contacted at robert.stensrud@drake.edu This article describes a study of employers' attitudes toward hiring people with disabilities and toward the state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The study examined attitudes of employers in two states, one in the Midwest and one in the Southeast. In all cases, en-~ployers were known to have hired people with disabilities and to have worked with the state VR agency. The study found that employers stated that they were glad they hired the person they did, but expressed reservations about hiring people with certain types of disabilities. Employers did not express a high degree of knowledge about the state VR program, and satisfaction with VR was mixed.
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A meta-analysis (k of conditions = 128; N = 4,598) examined the influence of factors present at the time an attitude is formed on the degree to which this attitude guides future behavior. The findings indicated that attitudes correlated with a future behavior more strongly when they were easy to recall (accessible) and stable over time. Because of increased accessibility, attitudes more strongly predicted future behavior when participants had direct experience with the attitude object and reported their attitudes frequently. Because of the resulting attitude stability, the attitude-behavior association was strongest when attitudes were confident, when participants formed their attitude on the basis of behavior-relevant information, and when they received or were induced to think about one- rather than two-sided information about the attitude object.
Article
Disability harassment of students in special education may have a significant impact on their transition from school to work. Risk factors could include not attending school, not seeking employment, and dropping out of the workforce if they experience harassment again early on in their work history. Background information includes an analogy to sexual harassment and two definitions of disability harassment. Several egregious legal accounts from schools and the workplace, along with research findings on the prevalence of work-related disability harassment of eligible clients of a state vocational rehabilitation agency are presented. Data reports from federal agencies monitoring public schools and places of employment indicate a trend of greater frequency of filed complaints of disability harassment. Important points to remember regarding this issue are discussed. Finally, specific and practical implications for rehabilitation counselors are mentioned to help break the silence on this insidious problem for young people with disabilities in transition.
Article
This study identified factors that lead to or impede competitive job placements for clients of a state blindness rehabilitation agency. The authors conducted focus groups with the agency's service providers and administered surveys to adults who are blind or visually impaired and to employers. The survey data analysis compared persons who were employed with persons who were not employed but were interested in working and with persons who were not working and were not interested in working. Also identified were services that employers felt would assist them in hiring or retaining blind or visually impaired workers. Five themes, stated in terms of needs for the agency to address, are presented to summarize the findings.
Article
This study investigated vocational rehabilitation service providers' opinions about employer attitudes towards people who are visually impaired and what they had found to be the best techniques to encourage an employer to consider these people for employment. We found that rehabilitation counselors tended to have more negative perceptions of employers' attitudes toward hiring persons who are visually impaired than providers who identified themselves as business relations staff. Business relations staff were more likely to approach potential employers from a perspective that focused on employer needs and consumer abilities. Twelve themes of techniques to work with employers were identified and then further grouped into two broader categories: providing information and service delivery strategies.
Article
The purpose of this research project was to create an instrument to measure attitudes of employers towards persons who are blind or visually impaired as employees. Items were developed based on prior research with employers that identified their concerns about hiring people with disabilities. A 15-item attitude scale ( which was revised based on an expert panel review and results of a pilot test) was administered to a sample of 194 employers in hiring positions located in four states. Psychometric analyses included evaluation of coefficient alpha estimates, item-total correlations, and a common factor analysis procedure ( n = 158 for these analyses). Items were hypothesized to load on two factors: productivity of blind/ visually impaired people as employees and challenges to employing blind/ visually impaired people, which was supported by the data. As a result of the psychometric analyses, four items were removed from the attitude measure, resulting in an 11-item instrument consisting of a five-item productivity subscale and a six-item challenges subscale. Evidence for criterion validity was provided by significant differences in scores of employers based on whether they had ever hired someone with a visual impairment. Overall, results provide good initial evidence for the instrument's reliability and validity.
Article
A prototype is an ongoing, cognitive representation of common attributes and distinct characteristics that define an object or person. This mixed-method study applies the robust concept of prototype to examine perceptions of disability groups. Core, secondary, and tertiary prototype characteristics are described for six disabilities: schizophrenia, mental retardation, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, spinal cord injury, visual impairment, and hearing impairment. Similarities and differences among disability group prototypes are identified. The potential relationship between prototypes, attitudes, and subsequent judgment biases is explored. Examining prototypes might be an effective method for indirectly measuring attitudes toward disability groups. Implications for rehabilitation counseling practice and education are discussed.
Article
This article focuses upon the legal requirements for accommodating individuals with disabilities in the workplace and the perceptions of employers regarding barriers to accommodation. After a brief analysis of how federal courts have interpreted the ADA's accommodation requirements, the literature on accommodation is reviewed and a theoretical framework for examining employers' attitudes toward accommodation is proposed. The article then tests the framework using the results of a study of 500 New Jersey employers which elicited their experiences with and attitudes toward the accommodation of disabled workers. Suggestions for further research are provided.
Article
80 employers rated 8 types of worker disabilities to assess differences in Ss' attitudes, problem areas considered the most serious, and which types of disabilities Ss were most concerned about in employees. Results show significant differences in Ss' attitudes: Overall, blind and mentally retarded workers encountered the most discrimination by Ss, and epileptics and amputees encountered the least. Across all types of disabilities, the greatest concerns were lower work productivity and higher accident and workman-compensation rates. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Discusses methods for modifying negative attitudes toward people with disabilities, which hinder the successful social integration of such individuals. The article presents these negative attitudes as stemming from faulty information about disability, information originating from pervasive sociocultural conditioning, the spread phenomena, and the fear of social ostracism. The article postulates that effective attitude modification requires a combined strategy of (1) delivering accurate information about disability, and (2) enforcing rewarding contacts between people with and without disabilities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This article discusses issues affecting the advancement opportunities of persons with disabilities and strategies for overcoming barriers to advancement. Specifically, two major sources of treatment discrimination are identified: (1) individual factors (i.e., nature of the disability, stereotypes and stigma, multiple stigma and self-limiting behaviors) and (2) organizational factors (i.e., token status, outgroup status, perceptions of limited job-fit, lack of role models, lack of mentors, and lack of critical feedback). Strategies for overcoming these barriers and implications for human resource managers are discussed and include: diversity training, training for persons with disabilities, dealing with coworker resentment, accommodations, supervisor training, and mentoring/sponsorship programs. Implications for research on issues related to the advancement of persons with disabilities are also addressed.
Article
Perceptions of discomfort by nondisabled coworkers are a major barrier to the acceptance of disabled persons into work groups. This research examined whether reported discomfort varied by the type or nature of the disability. 151 subjects rated 20 types of disabilities in terms of how uncomfortable or comfortable they would be working closely at a nonspecified task with a person with the particular disability. A stable hierarchy of the 20 disabilities was found. Patterns and implications are discussed. Gender of the rater influenced the ratings, specifically females exhibited less discomfort with disabilities over-all than did males. Prior contact with a disabled person, either personally or at unspecified work, did not affect the ratings of discomfort.
Article
The tripartite classification of mental activities into cognition, affection, and conation originated in the German faculty psychology of the eighteenth century, but was adopted by the association psychologists of the nineteenth century of Scotland, England, and America. Its influence extended into the twentieth century through the writings of William McDougall. It is proposed that the classificatory scheme is still useful in the assessment of contemporary emphases in psychology, such as the present prominence of cognitive psychology to the relative neglect of affection and conation.
Article
Increasingly, employers are providing a variety of accommodations to applicants or employees with disabilities. However, little is know about the resources that employers access to identify and develop accommodations in the recruitment, hiring and retention of employees with disabilities. Human resource professionals and supervisors were surveyed to determine the extent to which businesses were aware of, and utilized, the vast array of workplace supports available. Findings indicated that employers have limited awareness of workplace supports and rely primarily on their own organizational resources in identifying and securing accommodations. Yet, business professionals expressed confidence in their ability to meet and support the needs of employees with disabilities despite many supervisors indicating that they did not have the authority to secure accommodations for workers with disabilities.
Survey of employer perspectives on the employment of people with disabilities: Technical report. (Prepared under contract to the Office of Disability and Employment Policy
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Domzal, C., Houtenville, A., and Sharma, R. (2008). Survey of employer perspectives on the employment of people with disabilities: Technical report. (Prepared under contract to the Office of Disability and Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor).
Blind people can do anything but not in my company: Employer attitudes towards employing blind and vision impaired people (Unpublished master's thesis)
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Inglis, C. (2006). Blind people can do anything but not in my company: Employer attitudes towards employing blind and vision impaired people (Unpublished master's thesis). Albany, New Zealand: Massey University.
Accommodation and compliance series: Employees with vision impairments
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Loy, B. (2013). Accommodation and compliance series: Employees with vision impairments. Washington, DC: Job Accommodation Network. Retrieved from: http:// askjan.org/media/Sight.html
The impact of business size on employer ADA response. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
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Bruyere, S. M., Erickson, W. A., & VanLooy, S. A. (2006). The impact of business size on employer ADA response. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 49(4), 194 -206. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2005). Computer and internet use at work summary. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/news. release/ciuaw.nr0.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). [Unpublished data tables of specific disability questions in the Current Population Survey, 2012 Annual Averages].
Prototypes as an indirect measure of attitudes toward disability groups. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
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McCaughney, T. J., & Strohmer, D. C. (2005). Prototypes as an indirect measure of attitudes toward disability groups. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 48(2), 89-99.