Visually impaired individuals have long suffered low absorption in the employment line, with many of the human resources overlooking what these people bring to the table as part of the staff. The main problem that causes these individuals to be left out of the talent pool is that human resources can lose touch and fail to recruit individuals based on their skills, capabilities, and personalities. The article will show what these individuals are good at and what jobs suit visually impaired people.
WHO Reports: Visual Impairment in the Workplace
World Health Organization reports that nearly 2.2 billion people globally have near or distant vision impairment. According to CDC data, visual impairment in the USA is considered a public health problem affecting more than 3.2 million; up to 2015, more than 1 million individuals were reported as blind Among them, approximately 44% of the US population with low vision impairment are employed, which shows that it is no career end for anyone with low vision capabilities. The research also shows that it is projected in 2050, more than 2 million people will be blind, and 16.5 million people with visual impairment. Therefore, it will become crucial for the entire society and relevant institutions to assist those visually impaired in integrating into society and finding the right job for them.
Visually Impaired Organizations/Foundations
According to a study in 2022, organizations such as AFB, RNIB, and CNIB are now encouraging more human resource departments to provide more diverse and comprehensive vocational counseling and training for people with visual impairments. Examples of organizations that help low-visual individuals connect with their peers within this profession include the National Telecommuting Institute (NTI), Iowa Department for the Blind, and IRS Careers. Other jobs for visually impaired individuals include the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired listings. The listings available on the website include toilet paper manufacturing, janitor services, rest area management, and landscape maintenance. In addition, the IOWA Department for the blind has been involved in helping individuals land their dream jobs. These organizations are also a great place to start for getting recommendations on career options for visually impaired people. Job listing websites for people with a visual impairment include ACB Job Connection, AFB Job Listing, National Institute for the Blind, and Workforce Recruitment Program.
Products and Technology for People with Visual Impairment in the Workplace
Individuals with low vision can use electronic video magnifiers and other low vision technologies to maximize their vision capabilities which helps in walking, reading, working, etc.
Specifically, most electronic video magnifiers come with features to help the low vision people improve image and text contrasts, illumination, and magnification suitable for increasing independence. Such as the Zoomax series, which has at least 10 high-contrast color models, and allows the display to be customized to the needs of an individual user. Other manufacturers have similar products. Therefore, legally blind or vision loss people can read small-size prints, reduce large-size prints, improve their reading rate, and encourage how they write through visual confirmation. Besides, visual impairment mobility aids, such as e-glasses or other wearable low vision magnifiers, help with mobility challenges for people with low visuals as they engage in daily activities. Such products include Irisvision, Acesight S, OrCam reader, etc. In addition, people with low vision are seen using software solutions when engaged in online work, such as AWS software, magnification software fusion, and Open Book Software, which makes it possible for those with low vision to work from home.
Suitable Jobs for People with Visual Impairment
Of course, individuals with visual impairment should first consider their strengths before making career opinions. Meanwhile, relevant institutions or organizations should advocate for companies that hire more visually impaired people. Especially organizations or enterprises in different industries or fields should provide a variety of employment posts and situations for visually impaired employees with corresponding abilities and enough qualities.
There are some careers suit for people with visual impairment
- Psychology professionals, such as social workers, psychiatrists, and mental health therapists, etc.
- Education profession, such as teacher, teaching assistant, tutor, etc.
- Customer Service Representatives
- We-media practitioners & social communicators: Youtuber, Tiktoker, Internet celebrities, etc.
- Engineering, such as quality engineer, electronic engineer, project engineer, etc.
1. Psychology Profession
Although visual impairment disrupts the quality of life for individuals with impaired visual capabilities, they can still delve into the profession of psychology to work as social workers, psychiatrists, and mental health therapists. People feel free opening to their psychologists through the phone because some are shy about staring the psychologist in the eyes. While they do not necessarily view one as an ordinary psychologist, low-vision individuals may be considered harmless, which is why they are a perfect fit for the profession. With the help of technologies, people with vision loss could manage to write documents/emails, browse the internet and use braille devices to perform their duties as practitioners in the psychological profession.
2. Education Profession
If teaching is a profession you have always been intrigued and wanted to practice, and the one thing stopping you from realizing your dream is low visual impairment, then you have nothing to worry about. "Bling teachers see students for who they are" is an article written by CBC News that shows that teaching is another profession that people with low vision can engage in with the help of low vision aids and assistive technologies. In the US, the American Association of Blind Teachers offers national representation for teachers affiliated with the American Council of the Blind. Its members form members of various levels of jobs, from elementary schools to graduate school.
3. Customer Service Representatives
The job of a customer service representative is to provide necessary assistance and support to customers through providing helpful information, answering various questions, and responding to customer complaints. The essential requirement is that individuals are friendly and tech enthusiasts, making this profession an ideal choice. Technology advancements allow people with visual impairment to use handheld and desktop video magnifiers when working with computers. Examples of devices offering these services to their clients include Zoomax video magnifiers, Optelec ClearView video magnifiers, etc.
4. We-Media Practitioners
A career in media and communication all depends on conveying the message to the audience unambiguously. The career only requires the individual to have exceptional communication skills and become an expert in developing and decimating compelling messages to various audiences. This makes a career in media a perfect marriage for people with low vision. For example, as internet celebrities, like YouTubers or TikTok, the specific roles that these low-vision individuals can work on are not limited to dubbing or channel hosting. They can work with publishers and studios, to network knowledge and culture, improving the human experience in participatory media. Furthermore, some options, such as storytelling, offer the benefits of working from home and giving low-vision people more freedom.
Much like a bling professional in other fields, low visual people in engineering need to commit to working the extra mile to succeed in the profession. This means that people with low visual capabilities should use low visual aids as the profession requires extra attention. Low vision technologies help individuals become engineers, with some of the leading technologies requiring only a tap on the screen and the individual hearing the message, which can also be translated into different languages. In addition, some cutting-edge technologies have screen readers who, apart from the audio feedback, get the information connected to refreshable braille displays. The adoption of leading technologies has made it easier for low vision or legally blind people to access the Internet and other technologies and enables them to select an engineering profession as a career. Learn the story of Curtis Willoughby and how he becomes an engineer.
Visual impairment Isn’t a Barrier to Employment
According to an article in The Seattle Times, "visual impairment should not be a barrier for employment" the author asserts that there are no limits to what the visually impaired can do when given a chance. Like any other profession, people with low visual impairment need to identify their preferred methods and commit to improving how they offer services as they adapt to their condition. With appropriate training and technological advances, purblind or visual impairment individuals will undoubtedly discover a career they enjoy and that suits them.