June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
Employment profile of adults with seeing disability in Canada: An analysis of the Canadian Survey on Disability 2017
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shikha Gupta
    School of Optometry, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), Quebec, Canada
  • Walter Wittich
    School of Optometry, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), Quebec, Canada
  • Mahadeo Sukhai
    CNIB, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Department of Ophthalmology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Christine Robbins
    CNIB, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Shikha Gupta, None; Walter Wittich, None; Mahadeo Sukhai, None; Christine Robbins, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Vision Health Research Network – National and International Partnership grant
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 3608. doi:
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      Shikha Gupta, Walter Wittich, Mahadeo Sukhai, Christine Robbins; Employment profile of adults with seeing disability in Canada: An analysis of the Canadian Survey on Disability 2017. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):3608.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Several pieces of legislation have been put in place in Canada to ensure employment equity for individuals with disabilities. Yet, there is not much known about the employment experiences of people with seeing disabilities. These estimates are important to ascertain the effectiveness of employment policies for people with sensory disabilities in an equitable way. Our study aimed to provide an employment profile of people with seeing disabilities in Canada.

Methods : We used the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD), a national survey of individuals 15 years of age and above with a functional limitation, representing more than 6 million (n = 6,246,640) Canadians. A subset of the larger dataset was created with individuals with seeing disability (25-64 years) and weighted descriptive analyses were performed using SPSS.

Results : Out of the estimated 892,220 adults with seeing disability who were represented on the survey, 54% were employed, 6% were unemployed and 40% were not in the labour force. Of those who reported being employed, 80% were in full-time employment while 20% were in part-time employment; and 85% had a permanent job while 15% reported having a temporary job. The top three employment accommodations that were needed and were made available included: modified work hours (45%); work from home (38.5%) and modified workstation (37%). The top three needed, but least available accommodations were technical aids (14%), communication aids (22%) and computers with specialized software or adaptation (27%). Overall, 26% reported that accommodation was required but was not made available by the employer. While 75% of individuals with seeing disabilities, who were out of the labour force, were so because of their condition, the remaining identified barriers that prevented them from working, which included (top 3): (i) too few jobs available (20%); (ii) inadequate training/experience (19%), (iii) past attempts unsuccessful (19%).

Conclusions : Adults with seeing disability in Canada experience low labour force participation in comparison to general population. Rigorous programs are required that assist them with job search, job retraining and workplace accommodations. Although accessibility legislation has been put in place, programs should be established that provide accessibility solutions to various employers, enabling them to hire individuals with different abilities.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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