Blind and Visually Impaired Adult Rehabilitation and Employment Survey: Final Results

Edward C. Bell, Ph.D., Natalia M. Mino

Preferred Citation

Bell, E. C., & Mino, N. M. (2013). Blind and visually impaired adult rehabilitation and employment survey: Final results. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 3(1). Retrieved from doi:


Individuals who are legally blind or visually impaired in the United States have long suffered high rates of unemployment. The purpose of this study was to determine the current employment status of these individuals and to analyze its consistency with federal reports. The study also examined demographic factors, education, civic involvement, and rehabilitation experiences of this population in order to determine whether some of the factors could be identified as contributing to the employment outcomes. Results showed that the employment rate for individuals who are legally blind/visually impaired is 37%, which is consistent with previous research. Findings show that a gender gap still exists, with a significant difference in annual earnings between men and women. Education and rehabilitation-related factors seemed to impact employment outcomes; where higher educational attainment is associated with better employment outcomes. In addition, those individuals who were trained under the Structured Discovery approach were more likely to be employed and to have higher earnings than those who did not. Finally, for individuals who read braille on a weekly basis and used a white cane, the likelihood of being employed and receiving higher earnings was higher than those who did not use these tools.

Full Text:



The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2014 to the National Federation of the Blind.