Employment Outcomes for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults

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

Preferred Citation

Bell, E. C., & Mino, N. M. (2015). Employment Outcomes for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 5(2). Retrieved from https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir15/jbir050202.html. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/5-85


Individuals who are legally blind or visually impaired in the United States have long suffered high rates of unemployment. However, many adults who are blind or visually impaired have obtained competitive employment and good wages. Results of this study 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.


Rehabilitation research, employment outcomes, education, training centers, braille, cane travel, Structured Discovery

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/5-85

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2015 to the National Federation of the Blind.