A visual disability may be defined as a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses, contact lenses, or medication. A visual disability may be due to disease, congenital or degenerative conditions, or trauma such as brain injury. These disabilities may include blindness, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, loss of central or peripheral vision, and extreme light sensitivity, among others.
People with visual disabilities have the right to live independently and to fully participate in their communities. However, they may face physical, attitudinal, and programmatic barriers to employment, education, healthcare, housing, and recreation. NARIC’s information specialists are often asked for information and resources that may assist people with visual disabilities to live and participate in their communities. Below, you will find just a few examples of evidence-based consumer products produced by the NIDILRR community for people with visual disabilities, their families, and the service providers that support them:
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Employment of People Who are Blind or Have Low Vision improves employment opportunities and outcomes for people who are blind or have low vision (B/LV). Researchers at this RRTC conduct rigorous research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities that explore accessible technology in the workplace over time; evaluate the effects of virtual interview training for youth; develop and test an interactive video to educate employers about B/LV; evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of teaching job search skills via teleconferencing; identify internal and external barriers and facilitators to labor force participation; explore employment predictors and outcomes using large national datasets; and evaluate the accessibility and usability of job application websites. The RRTC has developed many products informed by decades of research into issues that affect people with B/LV. These free resources range from one-page handouts for people with B/LV to extensive resource guides for service providers, administrators, and employers. Topics include employment, transportation, transition, vocational rehabilitation, and more.
- The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) enhances the use of research-based information to inform decision-making by spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and burn injury stakeholders. The MSKTC translates knowledge gained through research from the NIDILRR-funded Model Systems and creates easy to read factsheets related to SCI, TBI, and burn injuries. The factsheet, Vision Problems and Traumatic Brain Injury, discusses how vision is important for many aspects of life, how TBI can cause problems with a person’s vision, and how treatment may either fix the issue completely, improve a person’s vision, or help them better manage the issue. This factsheet is also available in Spanish.
To learn more about these and other products from the NIDILRR community, contact NARIC’s information specialists.