People Who Are Blind Suffer from Unemployment

People who are blind suffer from unemployment in South Africa.  There have been people who are blind that have gone on to be successful and gain employment, but the figures are still extremely low. Not only that, gender gaps exist and men earn differently to woman. People who are blind suffer from unemployment more than those who are visually impaired.

Employment outcomes are impacted by education and rehabilitation factors.  Higher learning opens more doors than just a basic high school certificate.  Those who entered into a learnership program stand more of a chance of gaining employment and a suitable income. For the blind employees that read Braille and used a white can – gaining employment was higher.

Blind people that seek employment have to navigate a whole spectrum of social services and processes that will assist them with reaching their career goals. In a study people who are legally blind were closed competitively, while 29.5% of individuals in the same group were closed in non-competitive employment such as unpaid family worker and cleaners. There are several factors that predict employment for the blind, such as:

  • Educational level
  • Training in blindness skills
  • Visual capabilities

Significant predictors of employment in transition-age youth with blindness through:

  • Work experience
  • Self determination
  • Assistive technology
  • Locus of control

Visual status seemed to play a role with removing barrier to being employable.  Individuals who were partially sighted had more issues with transport than those with total blindness.  Those with total blindness had more issues with skills or attitudes of rehabilitation counselors or placement staff than those who were visually impaired.

Rehabilitation counselors are there to help participants find jobs, organizing interviews and empower.

We at action go one step further and train the blind to be able to take the first step with confidence into the workspace.

For more information about training that we offer, please contact Elsie Botha on 011 763 3366 or and Stephen Bergers on 011 763 2429 or