Rehabilitation and Employment Outcomes for Adults Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: An Updated Report

By Edward C. Bell, Ph.D., and Arielle M. Silverman, Ph.D.

Preferred Citation

Bell, E. C., & Silverman, A. M. (2018). Rehabilitation and Employment Outcomes for Adults Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: An Updated Report. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 7(1). Retrieved from https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir18/jbir080101.html. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/8-148

Abstract

The Adult Rehabilitation and Employment Survey originally conducted in 2011 by Bell and Mino (2013) demonstrated an employment rate of 37% for blind and visually impaired (VI) adults residing in the United States. Five years later, the second survey of adults on rehabilitation and employment factors showed similar findings, with only 32% of blind/VI adults holding full-time employment. The findings from the 2016 Adult Rehabilitation and Employment Survey affirmed the earlier study, supporting the notion that people with a higher level of education, who reported reading braille frequently, and who were members of a blindness consumer organization, particularly the National Federation of the Blind, were most likely to be working either in a traditional full-time job or in self-employment. These individuals were also least likely to be receiving Social Security disability benefits. Individuals who become blind later in life may especially benefit from supports to help them develop blindness skills (such as braille) and to acquire blind mentors and role models.

Keywords

Blind, visually impaired, rehabilitation outcomes, employment, factors associated with employment, braille, education


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/8-148

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2018 to the National Federation of the Blind.