High Parental Expectations and Early Supports May Improve Employment Prospects for Youth with Deaf-Blindness
About 10,000 infants, children, and youth in the United States are considered “deaf-blind.” Deaf-blindness is an uncommon and complex disability. People who are deaf-blind have both visual and hearing impairments that are significant enough to require special supports beyond those used by people who are blind or deaf only. Some people with deaf-blindness also have other disabilities which may impact their physical or mental health, or their ability to communicate as well as increase their need for specialized supports. There is limited research on transition-age youth who are deaf-blind, but past research has found that these youth have lower post-high school employment rates and more difficulty in post-school transition than youth with other disabilities. In a recent NIDILRR-funded study, researchers looked at the connection between the characteristics and experiences of high school students with deaf-blindness and their employment success after high school. The researchers wanted to find out which characteristics and experiences of high school students with deaf-blindness predicted their finding a job after leaving high school, and holding a job for at least six months.