Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 2, 2010
   Pages 109 — 116

Abstract — Competitive employment for consumers who are legally blind: A 10-year retrospective study

Edward Bell, PhD, CRC, NOMC

Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

Abstract — Vocational rehabilitation consumers who are legally blind are a subgroup of the larger population of individuals with disabilities who have suffered high rates of unemployment; yet, the evaluation standards and performance indicators of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) show that each year, the rates of employment for individuals with disabilities continue to increase overall. The question being investigated is, Has the employment rate similarly increased for this subgroup of consumers? Using the RSA-911 data system, this study investigated the competitive employment rates for consumers who are legally blind over a 10-year period spanning fiscal years 1997 to 2007. This study also compares differences in wages for consumers who were employed when they applied for services versus when they retained or advanced in employment at case closures. Results show that rates of employment and wages have steadily increased for consumers who are legally blind over the period of analysis.

Key words: competitive closure rate, competitive employment, employment characteristics, employment closures, employment trends, legally blind consumers, race, RSA-911, sex, vocational rehabilitation, wages.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:11 AM