Being blind and visually impaired in the workforce can be challenging, but these disabled workers can do just about any job with the right accommodations.
A new study published on JAMA Opthalmology now predicts that problems with vision and eyesight may be the reason there are unemployed civilians in the United States.
According to Medical News Today, The American Psychological Association believes that poor mental health plays a major factor in a person’s employment status.
However, the National Institutes of Health and Research to Prevent Blindness- the funder of the study-says that visual impairment is apparently the biggest culprit in this matter.
The organization decided to take samples from previous surveys of 1999 to 2008.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination questionnaire reviewed responses from nearly 20,000 people ranging from ages 16 to 74. Each participant had to complete an employment and demographic survey as well as a vision examination.
The report states that visual perception was divided into the following categories:
- Normal vision: 20/40 vision or better in the better seeing eye.
- Uncorrected refractive error (URE): worse than 20/40 on presentation, but improving to 20/40 after auto-refraction.
- Visual impairment: worse than 20/40 in the better seeing eye after auto-refraction.
The final results illustrated a comparison ratio of men to women based off of a person’s working status and visual acuity.
Employed men (76.2%) and women (62.9%) with normal vision ranked highest in the determining factor. The percentage of visually impaired and employed workers obviously ranked the lowest with men at 58.7 percent and women at 24.5 percent.
The study further predicted that, “visual impairment was greater for women, people with diabetes and individuals aged below 55.”
Despite the shocking details of this study, MNT asserts that this analysis was based off of bias research and data that hold no solid results.
Authors of the study assure, however, that their calculations should be taken with a grain of salt. Due to the nature of their research, they instead suggest that a person’s work status could possibly have a "causative effect" on their vision.
MNT asserts that although this study does not entirely confirm if a person’s vision determines their employment status, the data does reveal that the employment rate among those with eyesight complications is exceptionally low.