According to a 2021 study of census information, there are approximately 302 million individuals worldwide living with blindness or moderate to severe vision impairment. Shockingly, only 30% of them are employed in some capacity, leaving the remaining 70% dependent on various forms of government income support. This staggering statistic sheds light on the employment challenges faced by the visually impaired community globally.


One significant factor contributing to this disparity is the presence of government policies that hinder individuals interested in pursuing careers, self-employment, or starting their own businesses.


These policies exist at various levels, ranging from restrictions on earned income for those on supplemental security income in the United States to limitations on the amount one can earn without risking the loss of essential benefits such as EBT/SNAP or other food and health assistance programs.


These restrictive policies create a daunting dilemma for visually impaired individuals striving for financial independence. Many find themselves trapped in a cycle where the fear of losing crucial benefits outweighs the desire to pursue meaningful employment opportunities. The complexity and variability of these systems can lead to catastrophic consequences, including homelessness and financial instability.


The prevailing sentiment among many in the visually impaired community is that navigating these systems feels like an insurmountable obstacle. The fear of inadvertently triggering a loss of benefits looms large, discouraging individuals from taking steps towards self-sufficiency.


This situation is further exacerbated by the lack of adequate support systems and resources to help visually impaired individuals navigate the complexities of employment and benefit programs.


However, it is essential to challenge the prevailing misconceptions about the capabilities of the visually impaired. History is replete with examples of individuals who, despite their vision impairment, have achieved remarkable success in various fields.


From accomplished musicians like Stevie Wonder to renowned authors like Helen Keller, these individuals have shattered stereotypes and demonstrated that vision impairment does not limit one's potential.


The key to addressing the employment disparity among the visually impaired lies in implementing inclusive policies and fostering a supportive environment that enables individuals to thrive.


This includes advocating for reforms that streamline benefit programs and eliminate barriers to employment, such as rigid income thresholds and punitive measures for earning above a certain threshold or preventing any earnings at all in the case of the supplemental security income program.


Moreover, promoting accessibility and providing accommodations in the workplace are crucial steps towards creating a more inclusive environment for visually impaired individuals. This includes investing in assistive technologies, implementing training programs, and raising awareness among employers about the capabilities of the visually impaired workforce.


Ultimately, breaking down barriers to employment for the visually impaired requires a concerted effort from policymakers, employers, and society as a whole. By recognizing and addressing the systemic challenges faced by this community, we can create a more equitable and inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to realize their full potential, regardless of their visual abilities.


I have personally dealt with these challenges and still am!

So, I know firsthand the challenges faced on a daily basis in the low-vision and blind community when it comes to earning a little extra to live and having your entire benefits cut for nearly a year for a measly twenty-five dollars.


That is why I had to strategically maneuver the obstacles to earning anything to find my own solution that had the potential to accomplish the goal of not only earning but earning enough to get offsocial security programs.


That is how I was able to start earning to start my own business and continue the journey because I could not get help from the government to become independent. Now, I'm doing my best to show others how this system has been rigged against us and the ways I see the potential for our community to do the things they want while earning a liveable income to be free of government dependency.


This is just the beginning of this topic. You can look forward to more discussion about the struggles of the disabled community dealing with governmental policies that hinder them rather than helping them.


Thanks for reading.


Tags

blind, Blind Employment Rate, Blind/Vip, Careers, Employed, Employment, entrepreneurship, Government Dependency Rate, Jobs, low vision, Low-Vision Employment Rate, Statistics, Stats, vision impaired, Work, Work from home, Working


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