People who have vision impairments have unique career challenges: In a 2014 article for Massachusett’s radio station WBUR’s opinion page, Dave Powers wrote that “A staggering 75% of individuals who are blind or have low vision are currently unemployed despite being capable, motivated, and having access to adaptive technology that allows them to perform many tasks a sighted person can perform. These bright, hard-working individuals would be an asset to any firm if given the opportunity.”
Fortunately, there are many organizations that provide help in the form of guidance, training, and support. The following list is a sample:
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, a department of the Federal government, helps individuals with disabilities develop employment plans and supplies them with help in purchasing clothing and assistive technologies, and provides training to prepare them for jobs.
Hadley School for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides online courses such as technology training as well as on finding employment, business writing, self-employment, and more.
Independent Living Centers are located throughout the US and provide individuals with job coaching and training and information on employers who wish to recruit blind and visually impaired professionals.
National Industries for the Blind provides a variety of employment training programs focused on specialized skills required by NIB-affiliated agencies.
American Federation for the Blind Career Connect is an in-depth resource providing employment information, career exploration tools, and job search support for blind and visually impaired professionals.
ACB Job Connection is the American Council of the Blind’s job board featuring nationwide job announcements in a variety of categories.
Ticket to Work is a federally-funded employment program designed to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries the support they need to enter the workforce and maintain employment.
Blind Institute of Technology provides technical training, resources, and support and it cultivates relationships with Colorado employers that hire its student candidates.
For a more comprehensive list of resources, visit Industries for the Blind Milwaukee site.