Professionals are prevalent in the lives of people with disabilities and, for the most part, that’s a good thing. People with vision loss have many disability-specific needs that can be ameliorated by these specialists. For example, accessing information and getting around in a world created by and for fully sighted people can be challenging.
In addition, there are very few people with extreme low vision or blindness and therefore, braille and other alternatives to print are rarely available in many parts of the world. As well, moving through an environment that is cluttered with traffic and countless obstacles without sight is difficult and made more challenging by the dynamic nature of the world in which we live.
Professionals help individuals who are blind or partially sighted explore and learn about the environment, access printed and pictorial messages, take care of themselves and their things (using alternatives to vision), and generally cope with a world that is often confusing and inaccessible to them. Ideally, these service providers work with individuals and their families to first determine what’s needed and then provide the service necessary to enable the person to achieve the highest level of independence possible.
When it comes to career planning and employment, professionals can provide support as needed in order to: help people understand their work options, gain skills and knowledge to do jobs of interest, find job openings, and secure and maintain employment.
As one of these professionals you are encouraged to read about the career development process, which explains the process people undergo as they mature. You’ll see the competencies the individuals you are working with should have achieved by key points in their lives and where you may need to help with gaps in their knowledge or skills.
The following articles discuss how to best use this website for specific clients:
You may find it helpful to review the critical knowledge and skills that children, youth, and adults who are blind or partially sighted need to acquire by each education level: preschool, primary, secondary, and post-secondary. There are also useful links to additional information and resources in the Service Providers Resources section.
Finally, on the Trainer’s Manual page you will find the Pre-Employment Programme (PEP). The PEP is designed to prepare service providers to lead a structured learning experience that facilitates the acquisition of employability skills by adults with vision loss. The curriculum included modules to support assessment and instruction in self-awareness, career exploration, job seeking skills, job maintenance skills, and the job search process.