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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Assistive Technology in the Workplace for Employees Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Assistive (or access) technology has removed many barriers to employment for people who are visually impaired. Employees with vision loss can continue to work and pursue a wide range of careers, alongside their sighted coworkers, thanks to advances in both main stream and access technology.

Some of these technologies include:

  • Access software, programs that run on computers that can speak the text on the screen or magnify the text in a word processor, web browser, e-mail program, or other application
  • Stand-alone products designed specifically for people who are blind or visually impaired, including electronic video magnifiers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and electronic book players
  • Optical character recognition systems that speak printed text aloud
  • Braille embossers that turn text files into hard-copy braille

Accommodations and assistive or access technology needed in the workplace depend very much on the individual and the job requirements. Some common accommodations for employees who are blind or visually impaired are listed here. You can find additional information through AFB's product database and through the U.S. Department of Labor's Job Accommodation Network (JAN). For product evaluations, see AFB's AccessWorld Magazine.

Computer and Internet Use

Users with Some Usable Vision

Users with No Useable Vision


Reading Printed Materials and Taking Notes

Users with Some Usable Vision

Users with No Useable Vision


Using a Telephone


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