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Finding a job can be difficult for anyone. This may be especially true for the blind and visually impaired however. Because a lot of work assumes people have the functioning use of their eyes, the job market can appear inaccessible to anyone who suffers from a visual impairment. However, between advances in technology and a host of supporting organizations, you’ll have plenty of help along the way if you want to seek employment.
1. Linking Up With Employers
1.1. Determine the jobs available for the visually impaired.
There are more options for the visually impaired in the job market than ever before. Visually intense jobs are not suited for the blind, but the vast majority of work in a modern society can be customized to suit someone in your position. There are lists online of work that is suited for the blind. You may be surprised at the variety of work that’s available to you in spite of your disability.
* Eyesight is only one of the five senses. Consider a profession that values one of the other senses more. Telemarketing, for example, is a sound-based profession and doesn’t require much sight. A massage therapist, on the other hand, relies primarily on touch.
* You should cross-reference typical jobs for the blind with the work you would personally be interested in doing.
1.2. Contact an employment agency.
Employment agencies are perfect tools for anyone who is experiencing difficulty finding work, regardless whether they’re disabled or not. However, due to the unique issues the visually-impaired face in the job market, these agencies often offer services specifically catered to these cases. Outlets like Career Connect are sometimes in contact with disability organizations to enable the blind to find work.
1.3. Enlist the help of a disability organization.
Because visual impairment can prove such a problem with everyday living, there are organizations in place with the specific intent of helping people who are in this position. Reaching out to a blindness organization can give you a major boost in your work search. These people know exactly the kind of difficulties you’re going through, and have a personal interest in helping you succeed.
1.4. Consider self-employment.
Although there have never been so many options for a visually-impaired person in the workplace, there’s always the option of becoming self-employed. Being your own boss, you’ll be able to allow yourself as many concessions as you need in order to get the job done. Self-employment requires having a great skill or talent and having the vision necessary to monetize it.
* Due to how stressful self-employment usually is, it’s not a recommended course of action for most people.
* In the United States, the Business Enterprise Program is available for visually-impaired people who wish to start their own businesses. Vendor stands for packaged foods and prepared foods are potential ideas for the visually-impaired.
1.5. Stress your capability in an interview.
Although a prospective employer should know about your disability, you shouldn’t base your interview around the fact that you’re blind. Instead, focus on all the things you do have to offer. Emphasize the fact that you are capable even without the use of your eyes. If you’re able to master casual everyday things without the use of your eyes, your able-bodied employer will potentially be all the more impressed with you.
2. Realizing Your Potential
2.1. Focus on your strengths.
Everyone has special skills and talents, no matter what sort of disabilities they may have. The same rings true for the visually impaired. Take some time to think about what you have to offer to other people. Are you a skilled talker? Are you good with money and number-crunching? Do you have a tender artistic side? Just about any skill you have can be effectively monetized and employable in some way.
2.2. Emphasize skill in technological fields.
Studies have shown that the best prospects for the blind in the current workforce lie with technological vocations. Because technology like computers and phones can be customized to suit the circumstances of the blind, it’s easier for the blind to succeed in these cases as opposed to a job that’s largely physical in nature.
Take night classes in computer technology or something of a tech-based nature and see if you like it. You may find you have a talent you didn’t previously know about.
2.3. Make use of assistive technology.
Assistive technology is available for most sorts of work in a modern society. Any kind of desk job should have utilities, like direct speech word processing, to help make things easier for you. Although you may have a disability, there are lots of tools available for most kinds of work that will help pull up the slack.
Writing jobs can be conceivably done by using a speech dictation program.
Larger-than-average monitors and braille display can be added onto someone’s workstation if they have difficulties with vision.
2.4. Enlist in a school program.
There is a chance you’ll need to attend school to learn skills before you’re ready to work. Whether it’s going to a post-secondary school for a degree, or learning basic life skills in relation to your disability, getting some help in skill building looks good on anyone in search of employment. Most post-secondary institutions will offer special services to the disabled. You should look into them and advantage of whatever benefits you can.
3. Keeping Up Your Spirits
3.1. Work on your self-esteem.
Many studies have found that a blind person’s biggest obstacle in finding work lies in his self-esteem. Many visually-impaired individuals automatically assume there is no place for them in the workplace due to their affliction. Fortunately, this is absolutely not the case. Before you even start sending out resumes, it’s a good idea to nurture a positive attitude.
Stamp out negative thoughts, and replace them with something positive. For example, if you find yourself thinking something like “I’ll never find a job. No one will ever hire me because I’m blind,” replace the thought with something constructive: “I may be blind, sure, but it doesn’t stop me from being a worthwhile and valuable human being.”
3.2. Understand that the limits are never as bad as they look.
In many ways, living in today’s society comes with the expectation that you have full use of your eyes. If this isn’t the case with you, it can be easy to feel hopeless about one’s situation. However, the vast majority of modern professions are available for the visually-impaired to pursue.
3.3. Look up success stories for the blind .
You should never let yourself get down. Being visually impaired may be tough in many situations, but if you take a moment to look, you’ll find hundreds of success stories of people who have gone on to do great things in spite of their disability. Many of these success stories end up using their disability as a motivator to excel in other ways. Never let a disability keep you from doing what you are capable of.
3.4. Learn about anti-discrimination legislation.
People with visual impairment are sometimes stigmatized in the workplace. However, anti-discrimination laws have made it so that it’s never been easier to find work as a blind person. Mid-size and larger corporations are often offered incentives to hire the legally blind and visually impaired. Although you’ll still need to have the other skills in order to be hired, you should never see your disability as an obstacle with the vast majority of jobs.
In the United States, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was enacted to help ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Depending on the country you’re currently residing in, there should be similar laws passed to make it easier for you to find work.
Blindness unfortunately limits you from jobs where quick visual response is key. While there are still plenty of jobs available to you, it doesn’t make sense to pursue work that you won’t be able to succeed in.
Article written by Colleen Campbell,