How Do Blind People Make Money? Questions and Answers

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Navigating the professional landscape as a blind or visually impaired individual comes with its unique set of challenges and opportunities. Contrary to common misconceptions, there are numerous jobs for the blind and visually impaired adults, in various industries. This article delves into the diverse world of employment for those who are legally blind or have partial sight, describing how blind people work, the types of jobs available, and the assistive technologies that empower them. Whether it’s full-time positions, jobs for a blind person with specific qualifications, or part-time jobs for visually impaired individuals seeking flexibility, the workforce is becoming increasingly accessible. We will explore the best jobs for blind persons, how these individuals make money, and the accommodations that make it possible. 

Legal Protections and Rights

Legal protections and rights for blind employees vary by country, reflecting each nation’s approach to disability rights and workplace inclusion. These laws are designed to prevent discrimination, ensure reasonable accommodations, and promote equal opportunities in the careers for blind people. Below is an overview of legal frameworks in various countries, followed by a discussion on industries and roles that are accommodating to blind employees.

United States

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places open to the general public. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would cause undue hardship.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Specifically Section 504, which ensures rights to individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including employment.

United Kingdom

Equality Act 2010: Protects people from discrimination in the workplace and wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone because of a characteristic such as disability.

European Union

European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: Aimed at empowering people with disabilities so they can enjoy their full rights and benefit from participating in society and the European economy. Employment directives under this strategy require member states to ensure equal treatment and reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

Canada

Canadian Human Rights Act: Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and other grounds. The Act protects against discrimination in employment and aims to ensure equal opportunity.

Accessible Canada Act (ACA): Enacted to make Canada barrier-free by January 1, 2040. The act applies to sectors within the federal jurisdiction, including employment.

Australia

Disability Discrimination Act 1992: This act makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their disability in various areas of public life, including employment. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to accommodate employees with disabilities, unless it would impose an unjustifiable hardship on the business.

India

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016: This act replaced the previous Disability Act of 1995, increasing the types of recognized disabilities and stipulating more comprehensive rights and protections, including equality and non-discrimination in employment.

How can blind people find a job?

Blind people can find jobs in many ways, using both special tools for the visually impaired and common job search methods. Here are some ways to do it:

  1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services: In many places, there are services to help people with disabilities, including those who are blind or have low vision. These services can help with career advice, job training, and finding a job.
  2. Specialized Employment Agencies: Some agencies focus on helping people who are visually impaired get jobs. They know the challenges blind job seekers face and offer the right kind of help.
  3. Networking: Meeting and talking to people in the field you’re interested in can be very helpful. This includes making connections with professionals, joining online groups, and going to events for people with vision loss.
  4. Using Assistive Technology: There are tools like screen readers and Braille displays that can help blind people do their jobs. Knowing how to use these tools can make you more appealing to employers.
  5. Job Fairs and Events: Some groups organize job fairs and events especially for people with disabilities. These events are great places to meet employers who are willing to hire blind people.
  6. Online Job Portals: Many job websites are easy for blind people to use with screen readers. There are also job sites made just for people with disabilities.
  7. Support Organizations: There are groups that work to help blind people have the same opportunities as everyone else. They offer things like job boards, career advice, and workshops.
  8. Education and Training: Learning new skills or getting more education can make it easier to get a job. Some schools and programs are set up to be accessible for students who are visually impaired.
  9. Starting Your Own Business: Some blind people choose to start their own businesses or work as freelancers. This way, they can set up their work space to fit their needs.
  10. Government Programs: Some government programs encourage companies to hire people with disabilities, including blind people, by offering them certain benefits.

Jobs for blind people

What jobs can blind people do? Blind and visually impaired individuals can perform a wide range of jobs, thanks to advancements in technology, increased awareness about inclusivity, and adaptive strategies that make various work environments accessible. Here are some job roles and fields where blind individuals have found success

Technology and Computer Fields

Software Developer/Programmer: Writing and testing code for software applications using accessible development tools and screen readers.

IT Specialist: Managing and troubleshooting network systems, with accessible software to monitor and manage systems.

Education

Teacher or Lecturer: Teaching at various levels, from elementary school to university, using digital resources and Braille materials to prepare and deliver lectures.

Special Education Specialist: Working with students with disabilities, drawing on personal experiences to provide unique insights and support.

Legal and Administrative

Lawyer or Legal Assistant: Conducting legal research, preparing legal documents, and providing legal advice using accessible legal databases and document management systems.

Administrative Assistant: Performing office duties like managing emails, scheduling appointments, and handling correspondence with the help of assistive technology.

Customer Service

Call Center Representative: Handling customer inquiries, complaints, and orders over the phone, using accessible computer systems to access customer information and log calls.

Health and Wellness

Massage Therapist: Providing massage therapy to help clients reduce stress and relieve muscle tension, relying on heightened tactile sensitivity.

Psychologist or Counselor: Offering therapy and counseling services, focusing on verbal communication and active listening skills.

Creative Arts

Musician or Singer: Performing, composing, and teaching music, using talents and skills that aren’t dependent on sight.

Voice Actor or Narrator: Performing voice-overs for audiobooks, commercials, and animated features, relying on vocal expression.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Business Owner: Starting and managing a business, using adaptive technologies for administrative tasks and networking.

Consultant: Offering expertise in areas like accessibility, diversity, and inclusion, or in a specialized field of knowledge.

Advocacy and Public Speaking

Disability Rights Advocate: Promoting accessibility, equality, and rights for people with disabilities through public speaking, policy work, and community programs.

Motivational Speaker: Sharing personal stories and insights to inspire others, speaking at conferences, schools, and events.

Craft and Artisan Work

Potter or Sculptor: Good job job for visually impaired. It implies creating art through touch and spatial awareness, selling products online or at art fairs.

Professional Services

Consultant in Accessibility and Assistive Technology: Advising organizations on how to make their services and workplaces more accessible to people with disabilities.

Do you need to additionally learn to work as a blind

Blind individuals may need to learn extra skills or adapt the ones they have to work effectively. This includes getting good at using tools that help with reading screens and documents, like screen readers and Braille displays. They also might need to learn how to get around places safely on their own and find different ways to do everyday job tasks without seeing. Improving how they talk and listen can be really important too, because they might rely more on hearing and speaking at work. Some might also choose to learn Braille, which is a way of reading with your fingers. Plus, it’s helpful for them to know how to make connections with others and ask for the things they need at work to do their job well. Each person’s situation is different, so what they need to learn can vary a lot.

What do blind people need to work?

Blind and visually impaired individuals can perform a wide range of jobs with the help of assistive technologies and workplace accommodations. These tools and adaptations are designed to overcome barriers and enable efficient and effective work performance. Here’s what is often needed:

  • Screen Readers

Software that reads text displayed on the screen aloud, allowing blind users to navigate computers and the internet efficiently. Popular screen readers include JAWS (Job Access With Speech), NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access), and VoiceOver on Mac devices.

  • Braille Displays

Devices that convert text from computer screens into Braille, enabling blind individuals to read through tactile feedback. These displays are often used in conjunction with screen readers.

  • Screen Magnification Software

For those with partial vision, screen magnification software enlarges text and graphics on a computer screen, making them easier to see. Some programs also offer contrasting colors to enhance readability.

  • Text-to-Speech (TTS) Software

Converts written text into spoken words, useful for reading documents, emails, and web pages aloud for people with visual impairments.

  • Speech Recognition Software

Allows users to control their computer and dictate text using voice commands, reducing the need for keyboard or mouse input. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a popular example.

  • Accessible Mobile Devices and Apps

Smartphones and tablets with built-in accessibility features, such as Apple’s VoiceOver and Android’s TalkBack, provide access to a range of apps designed for visually impaired users, including navigation, reading, and productivity tools.

In conclusion, the landscape of jobs for the visually impaired is both diverse and expanding, offering numerous opportunities for blind individuals to engage in meaningful work. From entry-level positions to specialized careers, there is a wide array of jobs blind people can do, challenging the traditional perceptions of their capabilities in the workforce. Technology and increased awareness have opened doors to various fields, ensuring that visually impaired professionals can find their niche, whether in technology, education, creative arts, or customer service. Careers for the blind are not limited by their visual impairment but are defined by their skills, passions, and the accommodations that enable their success. For those wondering what jobs can a blind person do, the answer is multifaceted and ever-growing. With the right support and adaptive technologies, the visually impaired are not just participating in the workforce; they are thriving, showcasing that with determination and the right accommodations, there are few limits to what they can achieve.

How can a blind person earn money?

Just like people who can see, blind or low vision people work in all sorts of jobs. They can be in marketing, social work, business, healthcare, law, farming, and many other fields. Being blind or having low vision doesn’t stop someone from having a career in many industries.

How do blind people identify money?

One way blind people can tell what kind of money they have is by using a special device called the iBill Talking Bank Note Identifier. This tool has been around for a while, made by different companies. It speaks out loud the value of the money when you put a bill into its sensor.

How do blind people take notes?

Blind people can write notes using something called a Braille slate and stylus. The slate, which can be metal or plastic, holds the paper in place and has a guide for where to write. When using it, a person writes from right to left. This is because the Braille dots are made on the back side of the paper.

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