Belgium - Too many obstacles to the labour market for visually impaired people

This summer Brailleliga conducted a survey about the employment of visually impaired people among its members. This study shows that the will and the ambition of the interviewed persons to have or maintain a quality job is great.

In addition, blind and visually impaired people are still too often confronted with mobility problems, prejudices, insufficient knowledge of the disability and an unadapted working environment. To overcome these obstacles, appropriate guidance is needed.

Obstacles on the way to and on the labour market:

  • Mobility: 42.75% of the people surveyed indicated that they had difficulties to go to work.
  • Unemployment traps: for 10.76% the difference between the proposed wage and their replacement income is not sufficient to accept the job
  • Not the right skills for the labour market: 19.67% do not feel sufficiently educated for the labour market. There, not only skills are demanded, but also a high level of performance and a lot of flexibility.
  • Other (prejudices, insufficient knowledge of the visual impairment, etc.): 26.82% of the respondents cite the many prejudices and an insufficient general knowledge of the visual disability among employers and colleagues as a problem. Despite the wide range of available resources, the workstation appears to be insufficiently adapted too often.
  • 34.08% of jobseekers want help, 40.23% of job seekers were accompanied in their search for work. Nevertheless, 34.08% of those surveyed still seek specialized guidance.

We can therefore conclude that the need for specialized counselling services is important, and that this help is therefore indispensable for people with a visual impairment.

Ligue Braille / Brailleliga

See also the recent EBU Focus on 'Blind and partially-sighted persons’ employment in Europe'