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Background: Low Vision is a life-altering visual disability (CDC, 2015). OTs work with individuals with low vision and work in the workplace and education, however, there is no research on OTs working with individuals with low vision in work or post educational settings (Butler, 2016). Vocational and educational needs are often not being met for individuals with low vision (Barbieri et al., 2019).

Problem: OTs have a limited role in adolescent transition to the workplace and higher education in individuals with low vision and other visual impairments.

Purpose: To understand transitional programs that support vocational and educational development of individuals with a visual impairment and OT could enhance them.

Theoretical Model:The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) influenced this project. Utilizing the MOHO theory during the needs assessment helped to not only identify what the participants learned, but also their confidence and volition following the programming. MOHO’s focus on this connection is key to understanding what motivates and shapes engagement (Kielhofner, 2002).

Needs Assessment: A needs assessment was created and conducted which included a survey, observations, and interviews to assess the transitional programs at SALB. Observations of transitional program classes were observed through Zoom as well as in person. Interactions with staff & class participants including activity engagement and impromptu questioning occurred during observation hours. The survey included open-ended and closed-ended questions with Likert scale, multiple choice, and short answers. There were a total of 30 questions on the survey. Surveys were conducted verbally. Topics covered:(1.)Career Exploration, (2.) Accommodations, (3.) Assistive Technology Education, (4.) Interview Practice, (5.) Self-Advocacy Training, (6.) Resumes & Applications, (7.) State/Federally Funded Edu/Employment Supports. Review of the Transitional programs units of study was also part of the needs assessment and included reading outcome assessments and daily activities.

Results: Following the needs assessment, strengths as well as areas of improvement were found for the transitional programs at SALB. SALB programs covered relevant topics, had interactive and engaging activities, and the flow of topics was supportive of preparing for college and employment. Areas where the program could improve included assistive technology education, accessibility and accommodations of activities, accommodation education, as well as self-advocacy training

Project Impact: Overall, many important employment and post-secondary education topics were covered; however, the subject could have been provided in a more holistic and client-centered way. Participants reported learning the importance of many topics but did not have strong confidence or self-efficacy in the skills discussed. Not all activities accessible to individuals with visual impairment. SALB had access to assistive technology, but it was not often utilized.

Occupational Therapy could support a more holistic and client-centered programing. Utilizing MOHO model can help to increase vocational engagement, participation, and support for individuals with a visual impairment. Self-advocacy is an important component that could improve confidence and engagement in employment and post-secondary education for individuals with visual impairments. Making programs at SALB more client-centered by providing exploration into assistive technology and practice in self-advocacy in the workplace and school can enhance programs at SALB.

Discussion: Occupational therapists working in the vocational setting add value to vocational rehabilitation by providing occupational assessment and analyzing activities. Occupation is the foundation of the occupational therapy profession (AOTA, 2020). Occupational Therapists assess, treat and rehabilitate individuals with a disability, illness or injury to increase independence or function in the worker role (The OT Practice, 2021).

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Occupational Therapy, Adolescent, Workplace, Vision, Low, Surveys and Questionnaires, Needs Assessment

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Adolescent, Workplace, Vision, Low, Surveys and Questionnaires, Needs Assessment


Occupational Therapy | Ophthalmology | Optometry


Poster presented at the Summer 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences held online on August 12, 2021.

Transitional Vocational Program for Persons with Low Vision and Other Visual Impairments