Author: Marty Giesen
Transition Services that Lead to Competitive Employment Outcomes for Transition-Age Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments
Project 1 involves conducting an integrative (systematic) literature review to identify and synthesize research on services leading to successful employment and other postsecondary outcomes for blind youth. Project 2 includes analysis of five national cross-sectional and longitudinal data sources to explore relationships between potential causes or influencing factors and positive transition outcomes of youth who are blind or visually impaired. Specialized approaches used in analysis of the longitudinal data sources will allow opportunity for causal inferences. Project 3 uses qualitative and quantitative methods in the collection of data from a variety of sources (focus groups with rehabilitation professionals, teachers, SSA representatives, and others; interviews with consumers; VR case records). Factors that impact the employment status of transition-age youth will be identified. Project 4 involves using knowledge gained from Projects 1, 2, and 3 to identify and develop, demonstrate, and evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions—one targeting youth who are preparing to transition from high school to employment or college and the other targeting youth who are preparing to transition from college to employment
The Relationship between Parental Involvement and Mathematics Achievement for Students with Visual Impairments
The effect of parental involvement on achievement has received a significant amount of research attention in the general student population but surprisingly very little research has been conducted in this area for students with disabilities. This study investigated the association between parental involvement (both at home and at school) and mathematics achievement for students with visual impairments. The samples used for the study (N=341 and N=324) were taken from the nationally representative Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study. Multilevel modeling for longitudinal data was used to investigate the research questions. Parental involvement at school was positively associated with mathematics achievement for students who began the study in elementary school and parental involvement at home was negatively associated with mathematics achievement for students without a cognitive disability. However, there was a strong positive association between mathematics achievement and parental involvement at home for students who also had a cognitive disability.
McDonnall, M. C., Cavenaugh, B. S., & Giesen, J. M. (2010 [online]; in press [print]). The relationship between parental involvement and achievement for students with visual impairments. Journal of Special Education.
Academic Supports, Cognitive Disability and Mathematics Achievement for Visually Impaired Youth: A Multilevel Modeling Approach
Elementary and middle school students who are blind or visually impaired (VI) lag up to threeyears behind nondisabled peers in mathematics achievement. We investigated the impact of academic supports in the school on mathematics achievement, controlling grade, gender, cognitive disability, and family SES. Data were from SEELS (Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study) that followed a national sample of students over six years. Analyses employed multilevel modeling. We found the extent of academic supports in the school was positively related to mathematics achievement for VI students without cognitive disability but not for those with cognitive disability. Gender and SES had no effects. Achievement growth was not hampered by cognitive disability. Schools with more academic supports may enhance mathematics learning for VI students without a cognitive disability, and VI students with a cognitive disability may need both a high level of supports and specialized supports to facilitate mathematics achievement.
Giesen, J. M., Cavenaugh, B. S., & McDonnall, M. C. (in press). Academic supports, cognitive disability, and mathematics achievement for visually impaired youth: A multilevel modeling approach. International Journal of Special Education.