People with visual impairments have difficulty seeing, even with glasses or contact lenses, or are unable to see at all when they are blind. Statistics show that working-age Americans with visual impairments have much lower employment rates than their peers without disabilities. Past research has found that inaccurate perceptions about people who are blind or visually impaired contribute to this low employment rate.
An estimated 1.1 million Americans are legally blind, meaning that they have central vision of 20/200 or less, or a visual field smaller than 20 degrees. Compared to other disability groups, Americans who are legally blind have a higher college graduation rate. However, they still face disadvantages when seeking employment: These students may not have the same early work experience as other students and may not have developed their job search or interview skills.
Vocational rehabilitation (VR) is a series of programs and services designed to help a person with a disability find and keep a job or return to work after injury. These services are most often provided by counselors at a VR agency. VR counselors spend a lot of time getting to know the individuals with disabilities they work with, understanding their needs and abilities, and supporting them as find their place in the workforce.
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