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Employment

Gaining employment is one of the most important early milestones of adulthood for all youth, but is often difficult for those with significant disabilities, including individuals who are deaf-blind. 

Because studies have found that paid work experiences are consistently associated with employment after exiting the school system, they are a key goal for students, their families, and transition teams. Customized employment, a process that personalizes the relationship between an employee and employer in a way that meets the needs of both, is a useful strategy for making this happen.

Another key factor associated with post-high school employment is high parental expectations that their child can work.

Young man on job site packing eggs. Adult standing near him.
A young man is standing at a counter checking in a book.
Young adult man in restaurant kitchen wearing cooks hat and apron.
A young man is pushing a cart filled with cleaning supplies.

We all value work, something that has a purpose, a reason, and something that is meaningful. We get up every morning, we get ready, we get dressed, we go to work, we go socialize, we see our friends. We meet people on the bus, we meet people at the coffee shop. That's no different than what [students who are deaf-blind] can do. (Bridgeo, n.d.)

Learn More

High Parental Expectations and Early Supports May Improve Employment Prospects for Youth with Deaf-Blindness

Creating Vocational Portfolios for Adolescents with Significant Disabilities (Perkins Webcast)

Recommendations to Improve Transition Outcomes for Students with Deaf-Blindness and Additional Disabilities – Recommendation 2: Work Experiences

Offline Resources

Articles:

Cmar, J., Mcdonnall, M., & Markoski, K. (2018). In-school predictors of postschool employment for youth who are deaf-blind. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 41(4), 223-233.

Zatta, M., & McGinnity, B. (2016). An overview of transition planning for students who are deafblind. American Annals of the Deaf, 161(4), 474-485.

References

Bridgeo, W. (n.d.). CHARGE Syndrome: Preparing for the world of work. Perkins School for the Blind.

Cmar, J., Mcdonnall, M., & Markoski, K. (2018). In-school predictors of postschool employment for youth who are deaf-blind. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 41(4), 223-233.

National Center on Deaf-Blindness. (2018). Recommendations to improve transition outcomes for students with deaf-blindness and additional disabilities.

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy. (n.d.) Customized employment.