Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Employment Resources for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Employment Resources for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Article excerpt

Being employed means being productive, financially secure and fulfilled. However, for persons who are blind or visually impaired, seeking employment may sometimes seem as difficult as driving a vehicle. As one hits the road to find a job, countless hurdles may emerge. Some issues to resolve include technology, as well as resources that could make work accessible and adaptive to persons with visual impairment, availability of support, mobility, transportation, the work environment, and so on. The good news is, there are workarounds for almost every obstacle.

For individuals with visual limitations, such as myself, the first barrier one encounters in seeking employment is self-doubt. If you don't have faith in your abilities, nobody will. Remember, you are as capable, competent, and productive as your sighted peers!

Visually impaired individuals have become successful astronomers, lawyers, judges, professors, engineers, scientists, journalists, customer service representatives, app developers, architects, computer programmers, surgeons, and business owners. The list could go on, but the point is, many visually impaired persons have become what society once thought was impossible for them to become. These successful, visually impaired individuals didn't obtain success through miracles. They are not Superman nor Wonder Woman either; many are regular persons like you and me. I'm sure that they've encountered disappointments and formidable obstacles along the way. Fortunately, it is in the depths of failure and fear, that real courage shines. These notable, visually impaired persons have chosen to develop and keep a heart of courage. Thus, they have turned their vision into reality. You and I can do the same.

DREAM BIG

Visual impairment should not limit your capacity to dream. Remember, no matter what it is you want to accomplish, if you say "I can't," then you won't. Say "I'll try," and you'll be on your way.

Eyes On Success

EYES ON SUCCESS PODCAST

Listening to stories of actual visually impaired go-getters inspires us to dream big. You can find them on this half-hour weekly radio program and podcast that features distinguished visually impaired achievers.

www.eyesonsuccess.net

DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE

The first step to gainful employment is to search within you what you want to be. As mystical as this may sound, finding your life's purpose is simple. Ask yourself these two questions:

"What do I love to do?" and "Where do I excel?" Make an inventory of your talents and rank them accordingly. Your top-rank talents usually tie in with, or support the work you love to do. Once you find the answers to these questions, determine to devote your 100% to developing your abilities through formal education, training, mentorship, and hard work.

COME OUT

Pursuing a dream lays out difficulties that one could overcome more effectively with the help of a community. Several persons with special needs find themselves on the lonely island of exclusion because they feel that "I am the only one," or "I'm not as good as others." This is especially true among people who've just lost their vision due to ailments or injuries. There is nothing more redeeming than finding one's way out of this segregation into a welcoming community who will be your support system. The sooner you come out to link up and get involved, the more reliable the bridges you can build. I recommend you start your journey with the following organizations:

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

An all-blind organization with chapters and affiliates nationwide. At the NFB, a visually impaired person could find peers, mentors, and role models who share more commonalities than differences with you. Moreover, through their network, the NFB coordinates programs, services, and resources that could set up their members to "live the life they want."

www.nfb.org

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND

A national organization of blind, visually impaired, and sighted individuals. …

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