Best Jobs for Visually Impaired. Blind persons have an increasing number of employment opportunities, and this trend is anticipated to continue. That’s because more and more doors are being opened for persons who are visually impaired in the workforce by new technologies and shifting mindsets. The American Foundation for the Blind has really identified over 300 professions where people with visual impairments are succeeding.
But just as amazing as their quantity is the range and “cool factor” of occupations available to those with visual impairments. For instance, you’ve probably heard of well-known performers who are blind, like Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli. You may also be aware that Christine Ha, a chef who is legally blind, won the third season of the Master Chef television show. But did you know that some blind persons also make successful careers as photographers, architects, ballet dancers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, and many other occupations?
It is real. Therefore, keep in mind that there are occupations available for the blind rather than idly thinking about it. Prepare yourself by considering the careers you wish to pursue. Then, look into any modifications or assistive technology that can help you reach that objective.
This article provides various examples of occupations that let people with vision impairments make the most of their unique skills. You’ll discover how to get around some of the difficulties that blind persons may encounter when trying to enter the employment.
Am I Legally Blind? Can I Work?
As you can see from the list above, individuals with visual loss are able to find employment in a variety of fields. This is partially due to the fact that developments in assistive technology have made it possible for more employees who are blind to find employment. However, the overall employment rate for those who are legally blind or have reduced vision is still quite low. (Only about 37% of those who are visually impaired work full-time.)
What prevents those who have low vision from working then? One major obstacle is misinformation. For instance, some firms still worry about out-of-date issues like worker safety, productivity, and the price of accommodations. However, a large number of disabled employees contribute greatly. And research has revealed:
- In actuality, the safety records of disabled employees and those without disabilities are comparable.
- About half of the modifications that employees with disabilities request are free, according to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).
- The average cost of lodgings that do need a deposit, according to JAN, is only approximately $300.
- The major obstacle for those with visual impairments, however, is that many hiring managers are unaware of the breadth of what those with visual impairments are capable of. Additionally, they might not be aware of all the available assistive devices.
Even the words we use to describe visual issues create misunderstandings. For instance, did you know that the concept of “visual impairment” and “legally blind” are distinct from one another and that only 15% of those who are legally blind are completely blind? For further information, check at these definitions:
1. People with visual impairments cannot have their vision corrected to normal levels. That implies you aren’t necessarily deemed to have a vision impairment even if you require very strong glasses. (If your glasses restore your eyesight to normal levels, your poor vision is not regarded as a disability.)
The term “visually impaired” is a catch-all that includes:
- Legal blindness
- Low vision
- Total blindness
- Color blindness
- Night blindness
2. “Legally blind” is not a word used in medicine. Instead, the government uses it to decide things like who qualifies for disability benefits. What therefore constitutes legal blindness?
What you must comprehend is this: Visual acuity, which is a measurement of how clear a person’s vision is, is frequently used to describe eyesight. An eye chart is typically used by an optometrist to measure visual acuity. The best eye’s visual acuity must be 20/200 or lower while using corrective lenses for someone to be legally blind in the United States. If a person’s visual field, or the region that they can see, is 20 degrees or less, they are also considered legally blind. (In contrast, a person who has normal vision can look around 140 degrees without rotating their head.)
A person with 20/200 visual acuity can see objects 20 feet distant with the same clarity that sighted persons can see objects 200 feet away. But it can be difficult to visualize that definition. Think of the eye chart you examine at the eye doctor to get a better understanding of what this means. When using corrective lenses, legally blind people frequently only see the huge E at the top.
3. Legal blindness is not the same as total blindness. Many persons who are legally blind still have some eyesight. In fact, according to VisionAware, over 85% of those who are regarded as legally blind are able to perceive shapes, colors, or other visual cues. But completely blind persons are completely unable to see those things.
4. Low eyesight is vision that is poor and cannot be improved. With a visual acuity of 20/70, a person with low vision can see at a distance of 20 feet what a person without a visual impairment can see at a distance of 70 feet. However, some people prefer a broader interpretation of the term “low vision,” using it to refer to any vision problem that interferes with daily activities.
It’s crucial to understand that, aside from “total blindness,” none of these descriptions really depict an individual’s level of vision due to the fact that vision has many different aspects. Additionally, a specific vision diagnosis cannot tell you what a person is capable of.
This is why: A person with extremely poor visual acuity may occasionally require less help than someone with better vision. It frequently boils down to how much a person’s vision impairs their ability to perform basic daily duties.
Best Jobs for Visually Impaired
First things first: Don’t let your visual impairment restrict your professional prospects. Instead, give thought to and cherish your distinct interests, abilities, experiences, and aspirations. Keep in mind that workers with vision impairments can be found in many fields.
While it’s true that some jobs require more concessions than others, there are definitely more career options available to you than you think. And you can undoubtedly design your own route. So allow the occupations listed below to inspire you. All of these stand out as excellent chances for blind workers.
Unless otherwise stated, salary information is based on data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nearest thousand is used to round up all yearly median salaries.
1. Network engineer
Network engineers, also known as computer network architects, need to be skilled at visualizing the intricate networks and routers that are frequently installed in other places. Many persons who struggle with vision have mastered this kind of internal imagery.
You could create networks in this type of employment that range from small-scale connections between a company’s various locations to an entire cloud-based infrastructure. You can start off by getting a bachelor’s degree in networking or computer science. Additionally, several individuals in this field have an MBA.
Average pay: $121K
2. Applications software developer
Professionals who are blind or visually impaired may code and handle the various tasks needed in creating apps and computer programs thanks to screen-reading software and other adaptive technology. In fact, 1% of computer programmers are blind, according to a global survey.
Average pay: $121K
3. Physical therapist
Imagine assisting those who are suffering from illnesses or injuries that limit their mobility or cause pain to recover from them. You could work with patients of all ages, and there are numerous specialties available in this line of employment.
Average pay: $96K
4. Financial Consultant
Are your interpersonal skills strong? Do you appreciate examining trends and keeping up with current affairs? In this line of work, you can assist customers in developing plans to achieve their immediate and long-term financial objectives.
You can enter this sector with a bachelor’s degree in a business or economics-related field.
Average pay: $94K
5. Occupational therapist
Have occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants ever been of assistance to you on your path to independence? Would you like to support others who have chronic illnesses or disabilities in gaining more freedom so they can also live full lives? Your personal encounters with roadblocks to independent living can provide you valuable perspective on the difficulties your clients face.
Average pay: $86K
6. A speech-language pathologist
Communicating is difficult. And in your own life, you’ve definitely encountered some of the complex difficulties associated with speaking while having a disability. Why not treat others’ speech problems using some of the methods you’ve learned in dealing with those challenges?
Average pay: $79K
7. A web programmer
Want to assist businesses in making their websites accessible to all users? You might choose to focus on user-interface design, backend programming, or accessibility auditing.
Average pay: $78K
8. Registered nurse
There are numerous excellent nursing occupations that you can pursue in various environments. Set up some informational interviews with nurses from different specializations if you’re interested in this line of work. This will give you some understanding of the possible best path for you. (Some medical settings are challenging for people with disabilities to traverse.)
Average pay: $78K
9. A marketing professional
Would you be willing to offer business advice on the most effective ways to market their goods and services? You could assist with creating sales plans and marketing campaigns by performing research, speaking with potential clients, obtaining and evaluating data, and conducting customer interviews.
Additionally, the market for those with visual impairments is virtually untapped yet has enormous potential. This is due to the fact that over 32.2 million Americans have lost some or all of their vision. A blind individual like you might be able to offer advice on how to reach this expanding consumer group as that number is predicted to rise as baby boomers get older.
Average pay: $64,000
10 Social worker
Have you learned how to negotiate the social services industry thanks to your disability? Do you wish to share your knowledge to assist others in overcoming their own obstacles? There are numerous social work specializations available, including medical social work.
Average pay: $50,000
Teachers who are visually challenged can succeed at all levels of schooling. Actually, there is an organization specifically for blind teachers that offers tools, support, and job listings.
For all jobs in education, training, and libraries, the median pay is $57K.
Effective emotional support is something that counselors may give to their clients when they relate to them and have a strong sense of empathy and the capacity to learn from life experiences. Because of this, many visually impaired individuals excel in these kinds of positions. (They have developed careful listening skills, which are important for counselors.)
Average pay: $49,000
13. A massage therapist
You might be able to provide more effective massage treatments if you can pay close attention to tactile sensations. People with visual impairments frequently learn to pay more attention to sensations like touch, despite the widespread belief that losing vision enhances other senses.
Average pay: $47,000
14. Personal trainer
Are you passionate about staying fit? Do you wish to spread your enthusiasm to others? Given that you frequently get to pick your own hours and clientele, this is a flexible employment option. You might even specialize in assisting blind clients and serve as an example for other disabled people who wish to maintain their fitness.
Average pay: $41K
15. Customer service representative
Customer care representatives frequently assist consumers by phone or live web chat, providing answers to their queries and resolving issues. So if you have good people skills and IT know-how, this can be a flexible career for you. (Some individuals in this field are able to work from home.)
Check out the National Telecommuting Institute (NTI), which assists in connecting persons with disabilities to work-from-home customer service positions, if you’re interested in telecommuting. NTI also provides instruction.
Average pay: $37,000
16. Online Teaching
Thanks to websites like Udemy and Outschool, it has become common practice to teach academic courses like computing, music, English, and other subjects online. Blind instructors can impart their knowledge through live or pre-recorded classes. Engaging virtual sessions can be held with the aid of screen reader software and other accessible educational tools. Strong verbal skills are required for this position, which also has flexible hours.
The following are some instances of topics that a blind instructor might provide online classes in:
- Education in instrumental music and music theory
- Various languages
- Science, math, and the humanities
- Creative writing, computer programming, and communication abilities
- Technology adaptation and accessibility
- Cooking techniques at home
Blind teachers can find meaningful remote jobs educating students around the world with the correct assistive technology tools and interesting teaching methods.
17. Become a Copywriter
Copywriting is a great profession for blind people since it requires both excellent writing and speaking skills. You can write content for advertisements, blogs, websites, and more entirely from a distance. Document creation and editing are made simple by screen readers and braille keyboards. The verbal strengths of blind persons are perfectly suited for copywriting.
18. Learn how to interpret at conferences
For virtual conferences and meetings, real-time translation services are provided by blind interpreters fluent in several languages. In order to expertly transfer information between parties in this distant job, one must possess subtle linguistic and listening skills.
19. Transcribing audio and video recordings
Professionals who are blind can convert films, audio recordings, podcasts, interviews, and more into written papers with the use of excellent listening skills. Foot pedals and screen readers are examples of assistive technology that make it easier and more accurate to transcribing at home.
20. Work as an online assistant
Blind people can serve as remote personal or business assistants for clients, scheduling appointments, booking trips, managing social media accounts, and performing administrative duties. Key assets include good organizational and communication skills.
The hurdles to remote employment are still being broken down by technology for the blind. Blind people can succeed in a variety of jobs from home when given the right equipment and surroundings. Fulfilling possibilities can be found in a variety of professions, including teaching, writing, customer service, sales, and marketing.
Focusing on roles that maximize talents, flexible scheduling, and accessible technology are essential for blind people looking for remote work. It is absolutely possible to discover an interesting job that can be done from home with a little imagination and the correct assistance. All of the positions on this list are viable future career options.
Blind and visually impaired people can find both professional and personal pleasure through fulfilling remote employment by maximizing their abilities and accessible resources.
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