For People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Managing Transportation May be Key for Employment Success
People who are blind or visually impaired have lower employment rates than people without disabilities. Many people with visual impairment are unable to drive. As a result, they may face additional challenges in finding reliable transportation to get to and from work, which can limit their options for employment. Orientation and mobility (O&M) instructors can teach children and adults who are blind or visually impaired to travel safely on foot and to use public transportation. However, some individuals who are blind or visually impaired may not receive high-quality services like O&M training, and they may not always develop confidence in using the transportation options available in their community. Transportation self-efficacy is a person’s confidence in their ability to find and use reliable transportation. People with higher transportation self-efficacy may have more confidence in arranging transportation to and from work, which can broaden their job options. In a recent NIDILRR-funded study, researchers looked at the connection between transportation self-efficacy and employment for people who are blind or visually impaired. The researchers wanted to find out if people with higher transportation self-efficacy were more likely to be employed full-time than people with lower transportation self-efficacy, and whether or not this connection depended on the person’s age or how long they had been blind or visually impaired. The researchers also wanted to find out what other factors were also related to successful employment for people who are blind or visually impaired.