Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Bernard Steinman


Blind people, the target population being analyzed, possibly face higher rates of unemployment or underemployment compared to others with disabilities. They face higher poverty rates than any other minority group or group of people with disabilities. Typically, various statistics cite that 70% of working-aged blind people are not in the workforce. Federal acts have been implemented to increase employment outcomes in an attempt to improve employment outcomes for all with disabilities. The ADA and ADAAA been implemented to mitigate and/or eliminate barriers. This study used qualitative research to analyze data from participants to investigate whether or not they were employed and the types of barriers they faced while they looked for employment. The interviews resulted in the following findings.

The literature and findings reveal continued negative trends in employment rates amongst blind people. This is happening regardless of the two federal acts for the disabled and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation’s direct involvement with the blind. Findings show that the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind is taking steps to work closely with individuals by having programs not found in other rehabilitation agencies across the nation. Finally, blanket rules cannot fit everyone’s needs. Unfortunately, any piece of legislation or department cannot satisfy everyone’s diverse needs. Recommendations were made for other departments of vocational rehabilitation across the nation to look towards the Massachusetts Commission to model their successful programs.