• One in four registered blind and partially sighted people are in employment, and this hasn’t significantly changed in a generation.
  • There are approximately 84,500 registered blind and partially sighted people of working age in the UK.

Blind and partially sighted people are significantly less likely to be in paid employment than the general population or other disabled people. People with sight loss can face considerable barriers to finding and retaining employment and in recent research, blind and partially sighted people rated employment as the second biggest barrier they face in living their lives.

The one in four statistic above is taken from My Voice, which is a valuable source of evidence on the experiences of blind and partially sighted people in relation to employment. Our Sight Loss Data Tool provided the numbers of people with sight loss of working age. Further research on the topic of employment can be found below.

Employment facts and stats 2020

This document sets out the key facts, stats and trends on the employment situation of blind and partially sighted people.

Employment for blind and partially sighted people in 2019

Findings from interviews conducted in 2019 exploring the employment situation of blind and partially sighted people.

Labour Force Survey 

These reports summarise findings from our analysis of the Labour Force Survey. 

Employment status and sight loss 2017

This report brings together a more detailed analysis of the findings from the My Voice survey, the Labour Force Survey, DWP administrative data, and Network 1000.

Work Programme statistics briefing

This briefing contains statistics on the number of blind and partially sighted claimants referred to, and subsequently taken on/attached to the Work Programme between 1 June 2011 and 31 March 2015, and their job outcomes.

Work Capability Assessment analysis

RNIB conducted an analysis of DWP data released under a freedom of information request on the outcomes for blind and partially sighted people undergoing a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

Understanding how the onset of sight loss affects employment

The purpose of this report is to increase our understanding of what happens to the employment status of people newly registered as blind or partially sighted.

Access to Work - Cost benefit analysis

RNIB commissioned the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion to carry out a cost benefit analysis of the government's Access to Work scheme.

The jobs blind and partially sighted people do

The report presents new findings from an analysis of data taken from the records of more than 500 blind and partially sighted people in work, plus a review of existing knowledge and published data. It also highlights areas where further research could take place.

The link between sight loss and income

This research briefing highlights key elements relating to household income and gross monthly pay, drawn from three larger reports, which use independent survey data to describe the circumstances of adults with sight loss.

Tackling unemployment for blind and partially sighted people

This is the final report from a three-year, action-based research project to help improve the employment prospects of blind and partially sighted people. Published in 2013.

Network 1,000 - employment

This report presents findings from Network 1,000 Survey 2. The report focuses upon employment status; services received by those currently in work, people who are not in work and barriers and enablers to employment. Published 2009.