Available assistive technology makes it easier for people with visual impairment to perform a variety of jobs which they never could have before. Proper training, technologically supported tools, and a willing attitude on the part of employers constitute a winning formula. People who are physically impaired / blind or visually impaired have better career possibilities than ever before due to a combination of events and also as attitudes toward people with disabilities have generally improved. Employers, especially in midsized and large industries, are beginning to see the benefits and are gradually inclined to equal employment opportunity practices
Consequently there are more employment avenues than ever before. It is only natural then that newer technologies and training methods be adopted to harness the vast resource of untapped workforce for the industry and service sector.
Every one is an Individual – even the blind
No two visually impaired people have the exact same level of functional vision or the same approach to carrying out their tasks. Some use their vision more than others; some may work more efficiently when they can use non-visual techniques. Many learned to perform the essential functions of their jobs before they became visually impaired and will need to learn adaptive techniques to retain / return to employment. New employees who have been visually impaired for many years need to use adaptive techniques as they learn to perform their duties effectively. The majority of people who are blind or visually impaired will benefit from accommodations or modifications to their work environment in order to perform competitively at work.
Accommodations at Workplace
Accommodations are adjustments to the work environment or an individual’s work situation that enable a person with disabilities to perform work duties as well as (but not always in the same way) as his or her co-workers without disabilities. Accommodations that have proven effective and affordable for workers with visual impairments include the following:
Glare reduction and adjusted lighting.
Voice or e-mail messages instead of handwritten notes.
Desk or laptop computers adapted with screen-reading (synthesized speech), screen magnification, and/or optical character recognition (OCR) software..
Large print, tactile, or talking calipers, scales, tape measures, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, calculators, money identifiers etc
Aids to mobility for people who are blind or visually impaired include long canes, dog guides, electronic travel aids, , use of public transit, and carpooling.
People who are blind or visually impaired work for themselves as entrepreneurs just the way sighted people do. Two major avenues exist for visually impaired persons to establish their own businesses: the Business Enterprise Program, administered by state vocational rehabilitation agencies, and self-employment. Both require the entrepreneur to be knowledgeable about common business practices and to know about their product or service lines in depth.
Business Enterprise Program
In order to succeed in business, most entrepreneurs work long hours, excel at problem-solving, and have a high tolerance for stress. People who are blind or visually impaired who would like to run their own business Vendors typically run one or a combination of the following types of businesses:
Dry stands: all packaged foods
Wet stands: some prepared foods such as sandwiches
Cafeterias: kitchen, hot and cold foods
Automated vending machines: often in banks of two or more, requiring routine restocking
Other Self-Employment Options
Independent entrepreneurs need to invest much more of their own resources into starting a business. Their responsibilities include formulating a business concept, initial research, writing a business plan, and securing start-up loans.