Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Palmer, D. Charles

Committee Member

Crudden, Adele

Committee Member

Goodman, Doug

Committee Member

Hendren, Glen

Committee Member

Hall, Kimberly

Date of Degree

5-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Education

Department

Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology

Abstract

The majority of clients in the Federal/State Vocational Rehabilitation program (VR) have been successful in achieving competitive employment in recent years. However, one disability group – clients who are legally blind – has traditionally lagged and currently lags behind in obtaining similar proportions of competitive employment outcomes as their counterparts in the VR system. In this study, the 2007 RSA 911 data were used to explore potential explanations for the discrepancy between outcomes for clients who are legally blind and clients with other disabilities. Similar to previous studies, frequency analyses confirmed that clients who are legally blind are far less likely to obtain a competitive employment outcome in the VR program. Although the most recent data reveals that 62.4% of clients who are legally blind attained a competitive outcome in 2007, 96.6% of clients with other disabilities achieved the same outcome. Backwards stepwise logistic regression generated two models yielding likelihoods of competitive employment for people who are blind and people with other disabilities, respectively. The model that predicts competitive closure for clients who are blind was generally similar to the model that predicts competitive closure for clients with other disabilities. Most of the service variables that predicted competitive outcomes for clients with other disabilities also predicted competitive outcomes for clients who are legally blind. However, the rates with which clients who are legally blind received these services were lower when compared to clients with other disabilities. One difference between the two models was that the variables predictive of competitive employment in both models often had larger odds ratios for clients who are legally blind. The models generated in this study will hopefully provide VR professionals with information that will contribute to helping clients who are legally blind achieve higher percentages of competitive employment outcomes.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/15149

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