Mississippi State-ADRS study examines efficacy of summer work program

Elizabeth Patton and Samantha Wadsworth discuss the team assignment with the group

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VRS-Blind Services is partnering with Mississippi State University for a two-year study on the impact of job skills training on students with visual impairments who are participating in the department’s summer work experience program.

The test group includes students age 16-22 who receive one-week job search skills training developed by Mississippi State University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision. The training, entitled “Putting Your Best Foot Forward,” focuses on completing applications, writing resumes, contacting employers, and conducting online job searches. Students also participate in an interview with two potential employers. Upon conclusion of the training, the students work for six weeks at a job site specific to their respective career interests.

The “Putting Your Best Foot Forward” workshop is being conducted at the Homewood and Mobile VRS offices this summer and next.

The control group is comprised of students who are participating in the summer work experience program, but don’t receive the Mississippi State-developed training.

To gauge the program’s effectiveness, test group and control group members will be asked to complete surveys at four intervals: prior to participating in the summer work experience program, immediately following completion of the program, six months after completion, and one year after completion.

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