A career planning and employment resource for people who are blind or partially sighted

Using this Website 

This information is for you if you’re the parent, spouse or partner, or friend or colleague of an adult who is blind or partially sighted and you want to help that person gain or maintain employment. Adults with vision loss who are unemployed need the support and encouragement of friends and family members as they work to acquire a first job or to re-enter the workplace.

This website has two main purposes: to provide career planning and employment content and resources to people who are blind or partially sighted; and  to help friends and family members, service providers, and employers learn how best to help or support individuals find or maintain employment. 

As a family member or friend, consider reviewing all of the content on this site to familiarize yourself with the issues faced by people with vision loss. 

The Strengths/Problems Checklist 

Before you begin, download and review this Strengths/Problems Checklist document (click here for Strengths/Problems Checklist text version) and encourage your friend or relative to complete it. The Strengths/Problems Checklist is a self-evaluation tool that can help adults determine whether they have the skills needed to secure employment and work successfully. 

It is always easier to help someone who recognizes that he or she needs to change in some way or needs help to achieve a goal. If your friend or family member doesn’t identify any challenges or problems at present – if the person is happy with life as it is – it will be frustrating for you and the person you’re trying to help because he or she will see no reason to change. 

After completing the Checklist your relative or friend should have an idea of his or her strengths and weakness and together you can concentrate on resolving any challenging or problematic areas as well as refining or reinforcing their strengths or identified skills and knowledge.

Completed Strengths/Problems Checklists (or any of the other checklists mentioned) can become part of a hardcopy or electronic folder known as a career portfolio. A career portfolio can help someone stay focused and organized when looking for employment. 

Different kinds of vision loss 

Remember, people who are blind or partially sighted are not all alike. They are as diverse as the general population; however, there are groups within the larger population that may be more like the person you care about than others. For instance, there is a small subgroup of individuals who are totally blind (or functionally blind) who are primarily tactile and auditory learners – they cannot see to read print or to walk unassisted. These individuals use braille or auditory media to read and typically travel with a long cane or dog guide. 
However, many people who are partially sighted (legally blind in some countries) can and do access information visually – they read print and may walk unassisted. While some people with partial sight manage their lives and access information using vision, others find that braille and auditory media are more efficient than visual access and they use some or all of the same alternatives to vision for learning that individuals who are congenitally blind use. If you’re unsure in what medium (print, braille, electronic, or audio) your friend or relative prefers, don’t hesitate to ask them. 
More people have partial sight than are blind. Among people who have partial sight there are those who were born with their visual disability (congenitally blind/partially sighted) and those who have acquired their visual disability (adventitiously blind/partially sighted). 

Using this website with different groups 

The needs and knowledge base of individuals differs depending on when someone lost their vision. Therefore, the following sections on how to use the website have been divided into three groups, each considering the different needs of the group. You will find 2 sections focusing on different types of vision loss; for Relatives who are Blind and for Relatives who have Partial Sight. And a section that covers using the site With a Child or Adolescent. Consider first reviewing the section on different types of vision loss before moving on to using the website with children.


Success Stories

Check out these interviews with people who are blind or partially sighted enjoying meaningful careers.

Visit Success Stories

Friends & Family Resources

Find useful links to organizations, programs, directories, and more.

Read more