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International levels of employment study


Our goal is to understand the nature of employment of persons with sight loss, as well as barriers and reasons for not participating in the labour force.

  • The international levels of employment study closed Canada-wide on May 7, 2018, with 1,205 survey responses (825 online, 370 by phone).
  • First-pass analysis of the Canadian data was completed May 22.
  • The survey closed in New Zealand with 357 responses and is currently underway in Australia.
  • Discussions with the U.S. and UK are underway for survey deployment.
  • CNIB Research Department taking the lead on data analysis for all countries.
Preliminary findings from Canadian data
  1.  Employment rate: Two in five people with sight loss surveyed are employed. Younger people are more likely to be employed than older people and people with mild/moderate sight loss are more likely to be employed than those with severe/total sight loss. Use of braille and screen-reader usage is not associated with success in employment.
  2.  Self employment: Older persons with sight loss are more likely to be self-employed. There is a significant segment of the population interested in self-employment as a potential career route.
  3. Barriers to employment: Attitudes and transportation are significant barriers to being hired and promoted in the workplace for persons with sight loss.
  4. Unemployment rate and reasons for not looking for work: The unemployment rate for persons with sight loss is triple the Canadian general unemployment rate. Older persons with sight loss are more likely to be out of the labour force.

Guide dog advocacy priorities study

In collaboration with CNIB Guide Dogs, the department will undertake a series of focus groups to understand the advocacy challenges, barriers and opportunities that guide dog teams graduating from the program will face in the Canadian landscape.

  • Focus groups to be run in summer 2018.
  • Data from employment, money habits and technology surveys will be mined for guide dog users specifically.

This study will profile:

  • Use of assistive and mainstream technologies by persons with sight loss in Canada.
  • Enable an understanding of barriers to accessing technology  and user attitudes toward and literacy in technology.

This study will be undertaken in collaboration with the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Technology access, literacy and utilization study


This study will profile:

  • Use of assistive and mainstream technologies by persons with sight loss in Canada.
  • Enable an understanding of barriers to accessing technology  and user attitudes toward and literacy in technology.

This study will be undertaken in collaboration with the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Future research projects

Employment
  • Employer attitudes toward new graduates and experiential learners with disabilities.
  • Benchmarking of career aptitude tests.
  • Benchmarking of internship and mentorship programs.
  • Transition to employment in STEM and other non-traditional fields.
Education
  • K-12 and PSE participation and graduation rates.
  • Educational advocacy journeys of students and their parents.
  • Measures of student success.
  • Barriers and attitudes toward students with sight loss in K-12 and PSE.
  • National youth study.
  • Accessibility of STEM Education.