Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Predictors of Employment Outcomes for People with Visual Impairment in Taiwan: The Contribution of Disability Employment Services

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Predictors of Employment Outcomes for People with Visual Impairment in Taiwan: The Contribution of Disability Employment Services

Article excerpt

For most people, having remunerative employment is one of the major concerns in their lives (World Health Organization, 2001). Entering employment can provide individuals with financial independence, support meaningful participation and attainable productivity, improve health and well-being, increase confidence, and expand social networks. Compared to persons without disabilities, persons with visual impairments have a relatively low employment rate (American Foundation for the Blind [AFB], 2012; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). Furthermore, those who are employed tend to have positions in sectors with high job instability (such as irregular jobs, temporary work, or part-time jobs) (AFB, 2012) and a lower income (AFB, 2012; Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training [BEVT], 2009; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011; Leonard, D'Allura, & Horowitz, 1999; Ozawa & Yeo, 2006).

Few studies have focused on the employment outcomes of people with visual impairments (LaGrow, 2004; Lee & Park, 2008; Leonard et al., 1999; McDonnall & Crudden, 2009; Pack & Szirony, 2009). The results from the existing studies reveal many important indicators of a successful employment outcome for a person with visual impairments, including attending a mainstream school (as opposed to a special school for students with visual impairments) or being more educated (Dutta, Gervey, Chan, Chou, & Ditchman, 2008; Lee & Park, 2008; Leonard et al., 1999; McDonnall & Crudden, 2009; Ozawa & Yeo, 2006); having work experience (McDonnall & Crudden, 2009); reading primarily printed material (Leonard et al., 1999); receiving technology training (Leonard et al., 1999; Pack & Szirony, 2009); being older (Dutta et al., 2008; Ozawa & Yeo, 2006); having more usable vision (LaGrow, 2004); being male (LaGrow, 2004; Lee & Park, 2008; Ozawa & Yeo, 2006); living with a partner (Lee & Park, 2008; Ozawa & Yeo, 2006); having fewer disabilities (Lee & Park, 2008; Ozawa & Yeo, 2006); and living in a metropolitan area (Lee & Park, 2008). Research on the value of vocational rehabilitation services has indicated that such services increase the likelihood of people with visual impairments gaining employment (see, for example, Dutta et al., 2008; Pack & Szirony, 2009; Wheaton & Wilson, 1996).

Employment services for people with disabilities were first introduced in Taiwan in 1985. All disability employment services follow a standard rehabilitation process, which includes the following phases: a needs assessment; a plan development; and the provision of programs. Two types of employment programs are provided: general employment services and supported employment services. General services include pre-employment services (including assessment, pre-employment counseling, employment service plan development, job-search assistance, and job-placement assistance) and postemployment services (including postemployment follow-up and follow-along, and community mobility or transportation training). In addition to those provided by general employment services, supported employment services provide job coaching and on-the-job support for at least two weeks after job placement as a part of postemployment services.

In 1997, the government of Taiwan passed and implemented the People with Disabilities Protection Act (known, after 2007, as the People with Disabilities Rights Protection Act). After the passage of that act, a set of employment initiatives was promulgated to improve the likelihood of people with disabilities to gain meaningful employment. Stipulations included the removal of barriers in public buildings and transportation, increased disability employment service programs, and the enactment of a quota system for people with disabilities. The employment quota system was introduced to ensure that employers hire certain percentages of people with disabilities. By law, in public sector organizations with 34 or more employees, it is required that at least 3% of the employees be disabled; in private sector organizations with 67 or more employees, at least 1% must be disabled. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.