Creating A Visual World : Overcoming Barriers

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Living in a Visual World: Overcoming Barriers to Employment in the Visually Impaired and Blind Community People who are blind or visually impaired have significantly higher rate of unemployment than those in the general population (Ferronatoa & Ukovic, 2014). According to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), in 2013 only 40.2% of adults at working age who reported significant vision loss were employed (Erickson, Lee, & Schrader, 2015). The visual impairment community faces numerous barriers when seeking employment. In the past employers have believed that hiring people with disabilities may negatively affect their other workers or they may be unable to complete the tasks of that occupation (Golub, 2006). Crudent, Sansing, and Butler (2005), have identified several barriers that are most common for people with visual impairments, which include; negative attitudes towards visual impairments, transportation, lack of job skills, finding access to print, and lack of support in the rehabilitation organizations. Examining the current research on barriers to employment and how to overcome them demonstrates the benefits the field of rehabilitation counseling and how to better serve clients within this community. People who are blind or visually impaired have the ability to prevail over the obstacles put in place by the environment and society. The key areas of focus in this article is employer attitudes, accommodations, transportation, agency influence, and social support.

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