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Employment status and sight loss 2017

This report brings together a detailed analysis of the findings from our My Voice survey, the Labour Force Survey (published quarterly by the Office of National Statistics), DWP administrative data, and Network 1000 (research carried out by the University of Birmingham in 2005 – 2007).

The report looks at correlations between employment status and other factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, overall health, education qualifications and so on for those living with sight loss in the UK. It goes on to examine the support blind and partially sighted people receive to stay in work, the status of those looking for work, and the trend in blind and partially sighted people's employment status over recent years.

Key findings

  • Only one in four registered blind or partially sighted people of working age are in employment.
  • This figure is even worse for people who are completely blind. Only around one in 10 people with poor functional vision are in paid employment.
  • There has been a significant decrease in the proportion of registered blind and partially sighted people of working age in any form of employment over the last decade from one in three in 2005 to around one in four in 2015.
  • The disability employment gap for registered blind and partially sighted people is double that for people with other disabilities, and this gap is widening.