Un recurso de empleo y planificación de carrera para personas ciegas o deficientes visuales

Using this Website to Help Relatives Who have Partial Sight

The following section covers how to best use this site with 2 different groups. Individuals who are congenitally partially sighted (born with partial vision) and individuals who are adventitiously partially sighted (have lost vision later in life). ​

Adults who are congenitally partially sighted (born with partial vision loss)  

Not unlike their counterparts who are congenitally blind, individuals with partial sight from birth often have mastered the skills and techniques required of them for daily living and accessing the academic environment (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and calculating). Completing the various checklists in the Living Independently section may bolster your friend or family member’s confidence or indicate areas where there is a need for further work.

If your friend or relative is comfortable with independent living skills but in need of further training to find employment, you may want to review the Post-Secondary Learning and Education section. Here you can review both academic and vocational training options and the disability-specific skills needed to successfully engage in post-secondary programs of study. Before attending a post-secondary program, the person you are concerned about will want to complete the checklists for gaining entrance into programs of study. 

People with partial sight may not fully understand the way they appear to others and how their behaviours impact others. This is because without good sight, it’s difficult to read the facial expressions and body language that inform people with good sight about these nuances of appearance and behaviour.

You can help by making sure that the person you care about is aware of how he or she appears to others (for instance, whether the individual presents in an age-appropriate and comfortable fashion). Be honest, especially with regard to how well the individual uses his or her functional vision – share what you see that indicates the person is seeing well or not.

The job search

If your friend or relative is ready to begin looking for work, you’ll want to start with the job search section in Preparing for Work. For those who are living independently and have completed their post-secondary education or training this is where you and your family member or friend can find out how to evaluate his or her current interests, abilities, values, work personality traits, and challenges to gaining employment. The sections on self-evaluation, career exploration, and job seeking will be important to review. 

The job search content: finding job leads, producing acceptable applications and résumés or CVs, and interviewing for jobs is also important to review closely. This is where you may want to provide direct assistance by reviewing and editing paperwork or electronic submissions before they’re submitted. Check for formatting, spelling, and grammar – an employer may decide whether to do an interview based on the paper trail a job candidate submits.

In addition, you may want to share examples from your own job seeking efforts, such as old applications or résumés that you produced. You can either hand them off to your friend or family member, who’ll read them with optical devices, or enlarge them from electronic text or with a tool such as a video magnifier.

The reason this is important is that someone with partial sight may never have seen another person’s job-related paperwork to understand what such documentation tells an employer about a job candidate. Share how you chose what to include and how to frame what you included with the person you are trying to help.

Share your experiences

People with partial sight are at risk for failing to understand the way they appear to others and how their behaviours impact others. This is because without good sight, it is very difficult to read the facial expressions and body language that inform people with good sight about these nuances of appearance and behaviour. What you can do to help is make sure that the person you care about is well aware of how he or she appears to others (for instance, whether the individual presents in an age-appropriate and comfortable fashion).

Be honest, especially with regard to how well the individual uses his or her functional vision – share what you see that indicates the person is seeing well or not. Partial sight also inhibits an individual’s ability to learn about jobs – what’s available and what it takes to do a job. Never assume that because he or she has some vision that it is enough for the person to pick up on subtle visual information about work and careers that fully sighted people learn incidentally. 

You may be able to help by sharing some of the more subtle information that you have learned, likely without conscious effort, about professions, such as: 

  • how much time and effort workers expend in physical versus mental activities
  • how competitive certain jobs and fields are in comparison to other areas of work
  • what the remuneration is in various career fields, which is in evidence by what people can purchase or afford with their salaries
  • what the observable benefits or perks are that people receive in their jobs (private cars or jets versus a free meal, for example, as a difference between the CEO of an international company and a restaurant worker)

Working life

Review the Working Life section to learn about job maintenance and career advancement. This section includes information about workplace accommodations for people who are partially sighted. Although your friend or family member may be knowledgeable about the tools and equipment available to help him or her access materials and information necessary to accomplish work tasks, a review will ensure that that’s the case. Review the Working Life Resources section for useful external links and further information.

Adults who are adventitiously partially sighted (partial vision loss later in life)

If your friend or relative has lost sight and is now partially sighted, he or she may need assistance with independent living skills and communication skills. You’ll want to carefully review the Living Independently section, the article on Disability-specific Skills Training (in Learning and Education), and the article in the Working Life section that describes workplace accommodations for people who are partially sighted

Growing up with vision and suddenly or gradually losing vision can be traumatic and frightening. Individuals who lose vision later in life may be able to continue to rely on their print literacy skills; however, they will need to learn new systems for accessing print or move to alternatives to using vision when necessary.

They may need to use optical devices such as special reading glasses or magnifiers (hand-held, stand, or dome magnifiers, with or without illumination) or screen enlargement software on their computers or video magnifiers to read print materials. They may also want to consider auditory options for reading (speech output on their computers, audio book readers, talking tools and equipment) or working with someone to read (a human reader).

The Learning and Education section may be particularly relevant if your friend or family member feels he or she is unable or unprepared to seek work. The sub-section on post-secondary programs includes content related to disability-specific skills training as well as information about participation in post-secondary academic or vocational programs. Before attending a post-secondary program, the person you’re concerned about will want to complete the checklists for gaining entrance into academic or vocational programs of study. 

The job search

Although your friend or family member may have worked as an individual with full sight, he or she should read through the section entitled, Preparing for Work. This section will help reinforce good work habits and skills, while helping him or her to understand how to present competently as an individual with partial sight.

The sub-sections: finding job leads, producing acceptable applications and résumés or CVs, and interviewing tips are important to review. You may want to help by reviewing materials your friend or family member produces and role playing interviews with him or her. Your positive engagement in this process will be important.

Working life

Arguably of most importance will be to review the section on Working Life. This is where you will find information about job accommodations for workers who are partially sighted and tips for maintaining and advancing in a career as an individual without sight. You’ll also want to visit the Success Stories section​ – interviews with workers who are partially sighted and, in many instances, their employers.

You can learn how these individuals without sight have led successful careers, the tools and techniques they use to be competitive, and what their employers think of them. Often, it’s by listening to how others have overcome their loss of vision that individuals who are adventitiously partially sighted realize that they, too, can succeed. ​​

Success Stories

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

Visit Success Stories
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Friends & Family Resources

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

Read more
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