Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Kathleen Kardaras

Committee Member

Katrina Pann

Committee Member

Silvia Orta

Abstract

There is a lack of knowledge in the area of training needs for Deaf/Blind vocational rehabilitation and/or independent living service providers in Florida. This quantitative study utilized self-report surveys of Deaf/Blind providers in Florida to determine what needs to be done related to professional development. The researcher attempted to determine what service providers identify as areas of strength, and what areas they perceive to be those which require additional professional development training. The study participants were 31 professionals who worked at state agencies, non-profits, for-profits, private, or federal agencies that provide services to the Deaf/Blind population in Florida in the areas of vocational rehabilitation and/or independent living. The survey was developed by the researcher based on previous research in the areas of best practice in vocational rehabilitation and independent living. The areas that the survey addressed are interagency collaboration/relationship building, self-determination, parent involvement/parent support, and additional training areas. There were 18 questions on the survey that took participants no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Quantitative data were collected using a commercial platform to keep respondents’ information confidential and analyzed using descriptive statistics which include percentages and other data. Key areas were identified in which providers to the Deaf/Blind may need additional training in the areas of vocational rehabilitation and independent living. The results suggested that the background training of Deaf/Blind providers is varied. Even though Deaf/Blind providers’ training is varied, perceived strengths and weaknesses were suggested.

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