Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore barriers to employment for visually impaired (VI) women and potential solutions to those barriers. Design/methodology/approach – Mixed methods, comprising three phases; first, exploratory interviews with VI women ( n =6) and employers ( n =3); second, a survey to assess the barriers to employment experienced by this group ( n =96); and third, in‐depth interviews with VI women ( n =15). This paper reports phases 2 and 3. Findings – The most commonly reported barriers to work were: negative employer attitudes; the provision of adjustments in the workplace; restricted mobility; and having an additional disability/health condition. Significantly more barriers were reported by women: who reported that their confidence had been affected by the barriers they had experienced; with dependents under 16; and women who wanted to work. Research limitations/implications – Key solutions to these barriers included: training for employers; adaptive equipment; flexibility; better support; training and work experience opportunities; and more widely available part‐time employment opportunities. Originality/value – This paper adds to the literature in respect of the key barriers to employment for VI women, together with providing key solutions to these barriers.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 2, 2014
Keywords: Employment; Disability