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

In the second week of September, Brailleliga will focus on employment during a Campaign week. Last summer we conducted a survey about the employment of visually impaired people among our members. The study showed that this group is still too often confronted with mobility problems, prejudices, insufficient knowledge of the disability and a non-adapted working environment. To overcome these obstacles, appropriate guidance is needed. The study also revealed that a visual impairment doesn’t affect ambition.

Obstacles on the way to and in the labor 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 labor market: 19.67% do not feel sufficiently educated for the labor market. There, not only skills are demanded, but also a high performance level 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 too often insufficiently adapted.
  • 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 there is a large need for specialized counseling services, and that this help is indispensable for people with a visual impairment.