Finding a Job

For people who are blind or have low vision (B/LV), finding a job can be hard. Our research focuses on employment for people with B/LV, and results from our research projects offer tips to help you on your employment journey. Below are several recommendations for finding a job based on our research and a few other resources.

Submit Applications Often

Odds of an employer hiring a B/LV worker went up more than 40 times if they got a job application from a B/LV person. However, only a few employers in our study reported ever getting such an application. The majority of those who had received an application from a B/LV person went on to hire them. Employers at big companies and from companies with formal policies about hiring people with disabilities were more likely to hire B/LV workers. 

Learn more in this article summary: Factors that Influence Employer Hiring Behavior of People with B/LV.

Use Your Personal Network

Use your personal network as you look for a job. This is a common tip for job searching, and our research suggests that some employers hire friends and acquaintances with B/LV. Make networking a focus during your job search. 

Learn more in this article summary: Factors that Influence Employer Hiring Behavior of People with B/LV.

Get More Education

Pursue your education. Higher levels of education are consistently linked to better job outcomes for B/LV people. There is also an employment benefit for deaf-blind individuals who earn a degree or certificate. Higher levels of education are also linked with higher quality jobs. While it may take time to finish a degree, the investment is worthwhile.

Learn more in these article summaries:

  1. Employment Outcomes and Job Quality of Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers with Deaf Blindness
  2. Factors Related to Employment Outcomes for Adults with Visual Impairments

Improve Your Braille Skills

Work on improving your braille skills. The ability to read braille has been linked to better job outcomes in some research. Your local vocational rehabilitation agency may be able to help you find the training you need to learn braille or improve your braille skills.

Learn more in this article summary: Factors Related to Employment Outcomes for Adults with Visual Impairments

Find a Mentor

Look for a mentor in your chosen career field. We found that mentors can help B/LV youth have a more efficient job search. Mentors can teach you how and where to look for jobs and how to best apply. Tips like these can improve your job search process and encourage you in your quest for employment. Mentees in our study said they valued the support given by their mentors and said they benefitted from working with an experienced person from their career field.

Learn more in this article summary: College Graduates with Visual Impairments: Seeking and Finding Employment.

Plan for Challenges

Plan for challenges you may face in your job search. To find a career, B/LV youth may have to work harder on their job search than their sighted peers. Youth, parents, mentors, and service providers should be aware of common barriers to employment, like transportation, and try to resolve them. Be prepared to put in lots of time and effort to find a job. Do not be discouraged if your job search lasts more than a year, especially during tough economic times. Our research showed that, for those who find jobs, a satisfying, financially stable career is within reach.

Learn more in this article summary: College Graduates with Visual Impairments: Seeking and Finding Employment.

Below, you will find free resources about employment for people who are B/LV.  

Employment Resources from the NRTC

Resource Sheet for Job Seekers: Online resources for job seekers.

Employment Mentoring Manual: Tips on how to find a career mentor or start a mentoring program.

Advice for Disclosing Your Vision Impairment: Information and recommendations about disclosing vision impairment to employers. 

Understanding Employer Knowledge and Attitudes

Have you ever wondered what prospective employers think about hiring blind workers? Research from the NRTC sheds light onto employers’ knowledge and attitudes.

Career Advantage for V.I.P.s

Do you want to find or change employment? If so, this self-guided program was designed for you! Career Advantage for V.I.P.s offers eight instructional modules you can explore at your own pace. To access this program, visit this page to register. If you have any questions about the program, please contact us at 662-325-2001 or by email at

Learn More about Career Advantage

Consider Jobs in the Blindness and Low Vision Field

Many people find satisfying, long-term careers in the field of blindness and low vision (B/LV). Professionals in this field help people with B/LV learn new skills and lead a fulfilling life. Many professionals in these fields also have B/LV themselves.

List of career paths in the field of B/LV:

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist

Teaches safe travel skills to children and adults, including:

  • Street crossings
  • Bus travel
  • Use of a white cane or guide dog
  • Airport and subway navigation
  • Orientation to new locations

Educational Requirements

Most O&M specialists have a master’s degree in O&M. After completing this degree, specialists must pass a certification exam through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation Professionals (ACVREP) to be called Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS).

Employment Opportunities

  • School districts
  • State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies
  • Veterans Administration (VA) blind rehabilitation programs
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Independent contracts

Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (VRT)

Teaches skills for independent daily living, such as:

  • Labeling and organization
  • Cooking
  • Reading mail
  • Paying bills
  • Use of household appliances
  • Money identification
  • Computer use

Educational Requirements

A VRT master’s degree is available, although many work in this profession with only a bachelor’s degree. Certification is available from ACVREP. Certified vision rehabilitation therapists (CVRTs) have the most opportunities for employment.

Employment Opportunities

  • State VR agencies
  • VA blind rehabilitation programs
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Schools for the blind
  • Independent contracts

Low Vision Therapist

Helps people with B/LV improve their lives using low vision aids by:

  • Assessing magnification needs
  • Teaching how to use magnifiers
  • Suggesting helpful changes to a person’s environment
  • Demonstrating closed-circuit televisions
  • Teaching about other low vision technologies

Educational Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is required, and many individuals in this field pursue a master’s degree in low vision or another related area. ACVREP gives a certification exam.

Employment Opportunities

  • VA blind rehabilitation programs
  • State VR agencies
  • Office of a low vision doctor
  • Nonprofit organizations

Rehabilitation Counselor (RC)

Guides people with B/LV toward successfully finding and maintaining employment by:

  • Advising on career options
  • Providing case management
  • Developing a rehabilitation plan
  • Supervising provision of services
  • Counseling on adjustment to blindness
  • Advising on interviewing and disability disclosure
  • Providing job placement services

Educational Requirements

Most RCs are required to have a master’s degree. Credentialing as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) is available through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification and requires a written exam. There is no blindness specialty in the certification process. Instead, candidates are required to be knowledgeable in all disability areas.

Employment Opportunities

  • State VR agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations

Teacher of The Vision Impaired (TVI)

Adapts classroom materials and activities to maximize learning for children with B/LV:

  • Assesses student needs
  • Teaches braille and listening skills
  • Serves as a resource for classroom teachers
  • Writes Individual Education Plan for student
  • Teaches computer accessibility
  • Teaches study skills

Educational Requirements

TVIs are required to have a bachelor's and/or master's degree, as well as appropriate teaching credentials.

Employment Opportunities

  • School districts
  • Residential schools for the blind
  • Early intervention programs
  • Independent contracts

Deaf-Blind Specialist

Instructs people who have a dual-sensory loss on topics such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Braille
  • Concept development
  • Instructional planning
  • Assistive technology
  • Independent living skills
  • Job skills
  • Orientation and mobility
  • Social and emotional adjustment
  • Recreational activities

Educational Requirements

Deaf-blind specialists usually have a master's degree in rehabilitation, special education, or a related field and are fluent in sign language and forms of manual communication. Some have backgrounds as O&M specialists, VRTs, job placement specialists, TVIs, or other related fields. It is also helpful for deaf-blind specialists to have intervener or interpreter skills or certifications.

Employment Opportunities

Assistive Technology Instructor

Specializes in helping people with B/LV learn to use assistive software and hardware by:

  • Evaluating needs
  • Recommending assistive software and hardware
  • Installing software and setting up specialized devices
  • Teaching how to use devices
  • Working with team members to incorporate devices
  • Repairing and maintaining assistive technology

Educational Requirements

Instructors need a master's or bachelor's degree in rehabilitation engineering, industrial/educational technology, rehabilitation teaching, or a related area. Familiarity with computer access technology for persons with vision-related needs (e.g., braille, speech access, and large print) is also usually required. ACVREP offers a certification called the Certified Assistive Technology Instruction Specialist (CATIS). Specialized certifications are offered by companies that program commonly used accessible software. These certifications are specific to each software package and include:

Employment Opportunities

  • State VR agencies
  • VA blind rehabilitation programs
  • Private agencies
  • Independent contracts
  • School districts

If you are interested in a career in a B/LV-related field, our webpage of colleges and universities lists schools that offer courses in the education and rehabilitation of people who are B/LV or deaf-blind.

Profiles of Workers who are Blind or Have Low Vision

The NRTC is highlighting a growing list of persons who are working in successful careers.

These short profiles are designed to encourage employers with the capabilities and talents that can be found among persons who are blind or have low vision. Click here to meet these successful workers in a variety of careers. If you have someone you would like to nominate to be added to our list, please contact the NRTC staff at 662-325-2001 or by email at