Scientific evaluation of the project 'Integrationscoaching für Menschen mit Sehschädigung im Rheinland'

The research project “integrational coaching for people with visual impairment in the Rhineland” was launched in May 2014. The project is funded by Landschaftsverband Rheinland, Integrationsfachdienst Sehen and Berufsförderungswerk Düren. The research project deals with the formative and summative evaluation (see Mittag & Hager, 2000) of a pilot project applied in the Vocational Training Center Düren.

The aim of the project is to assist people with visual impairments in their working life. The affected people participate in a training on the job in order to facilitate the initial vocational entry or the vocational re-entry or in order to ensure a permanent job placement. During the three years of the project the new employees of the Vocational Training Center Düren get trained as a job coach. Contents of the formation are cognitive aspects, social competences and psychomotor features etc. with the aim of the placement of visually impaired people in a regular job.

In this context, scientific evaluation done by RWTH Aachen investigates, how the implementation works and whether the unique treatment approach can be integrated into the operating procedures of the Vocational Training Center Düren. The primary objective of this approach is the successful reintegration of participants into the regular labor market. From a health economic perspective, a positive outcome and a high economic capability of the approach would be of significant importance for both, visually impaired people and pension insurance institutions.

An additional objective of the RWTH Aachen is to find a definition for the term “job coach for blind/ visually impaired people”. At the end of the project this term together with all associated relevant aspects should be defined.

If the integration coaching is successful, IcoSiR is practically relevant for clients with visual disabilities and supports the vocational reintegration. Additionally, due to higher reintegration quotes there may be positive outcomes for rehabilitation payers and employers.