Are There Employment-Related Support Groups for People with Low Vision?
Finding a Vision Loss Employment Support GroupUse the VisionAware Support Group listing. Another suggestion is to contact local vision rehabilitation agencies in your state that serve people who are blind or have low vision and ask where you can find a vision loss support group in your area. Some agencies also install work-related equipment to facilitate adjustment training; set up workshops and job fairs for employers; and conduct job clubs, in which adults who are blind or have low vision discuss job-related strategies, challenges and frustrations. One of the best ways to learn what is required to maintain your job is by talking with another person who is blind or has low vision and whose work and visual situations are similar to your own. For example, you can ask if he or she uses braille exclusively, reads large print, or uses a combination of both, depending upon the job requirements. Did they find the job on their own, or with the help of a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor? Have they had the type of training you’re considering? If you can build this type of supportive relationship with another individual, it can be beneficial for you, not only during your adjustment period, but also on an ongoing basis. The following are some strategies you can try:
- If you have a counselor who is knowledgeable about blindness and low vision, he or she can introduce you to a person whose vision impairment and work history are similar to your own. Be aware, however, that most state rehabilitation agencies have confidentiality rules, which you and your counselor must abide by.
- Professional groups, such as the American Blind Lawyers Association and the National Association of Blind Teachers can be helpful resources for information and networking.
- Talk to employers in your area who have a history of employing people who are blind or have low vision. Your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor can offer guidance and referral strategies.