Employment Readiness

People who are blind or have low vision, with the right training and accommodations, can do any job that fits their particular interests, skills and abilities.

If you are blind or have low vision and would like assistance in finding or keeping a job, we can provide you with:

Job Counseling

What types of jobs can people who are blind or have low vision do?

People who are blind or have low vision, with the right training and accommodations, can do any job that fits their particular interests, skills and abilities.

How can DSB help me find or keep a job?

We are experts in providing services for people who are blind or have low vision to help them find or keep employment.

Our counselors and staff:

  • Assist participants in exploring a wide range of possibilities for employment.
  • Empower and teach participants to educate themselves about careers and the job market.
  • Help participants identify what tools or skills they may need to prepare for the career of their choice.
  • Support and encourage participants as they learn skills to overcome barriers, regain self-confidence and obtain or maintain employment.

In addition, we can work with you to explore opportunities for self-employment through either your own business or through our Business Enterprise Program (BEP).

Skills of Blindness Training

People who are blind and have low vision use adaptive techniques and skills to accommodate vision loss. These "skills of blindness" include using Braille and specialized computer software, traveling with a white cane, and cooking, cleaning and sewing techniques.  Adaptive skills enable people with vision loss to be independent and successful in the home, in school, on the job, and in their communities. We provide training in the skills of blindness:

At Home

We provide daily living skills training to all adults, both those interested and not interested in employment, in their homes and in their communities.

If you are an adult who is blind or has low vision, and would like to learn adaptive skills in your home and in your community, DSB can provide assessments and training at no cost to you.

What can DSB do for me in my home and community?

We can:

  • Provide counseling regarding living and/or working with vision loss.
  • Determine what skills, technology and resources you can use to help maximize your strengths.
  • Provide information on national, state, or community resources.
  • Teach adaptive skills for reading and writing, home management, computer use, and the ability to get from place to place.
  • Recommend adaptive devices for use at home, in the community, and/or on the job.

Is there a difference between the services provided for people who are looking for employment and those who are not?

We plan and provide services based on the individual.  People who are blind or have low vision and looking for employment will typically receive more in-depth counseling, assessments and training, which includes vocational planning, to determine how they can enter or continue to thrive in the workforce. People not interested in employment also receive services but typically within the scope of daily living.

At an Intensive Training Center

If you are an adult interested in employment, you may qualify for intensive learning at our Orientation and Training Center (OTC).

Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology and Accommodation?

Examples of typical AT devices or accommodations for someone who is blind or has low vision are:

  • Software to magnify a computer-screen view or to have what appears on the computer screen voiced or Brailled
  • Handheld or desktop electronic magnifiers to see small print
  • Devices to scan and voice a printed document, flier, or book
  • Changes in lighting to reduce glare or increase visibility
  • Adjustments to a workstation layout to improve workflow & ergonomics

What can DSB do for my AT needs?

DSB’s AT Specialists help people who are blind or visually impaired acquire and use appropriate AT to help them participate in activities of daily living, employment and education.

DSB clients, along with their teams of VRCs, Rehab Techs, Rehab Teachers and Low Vision Specialists, and AT Specialists, decide which type of assistive technology would be most helpful for the client’s career goals. The team is trained to match particular technologies to specific needs to help the person function better or more independently. 

Our AT Specialists

  • Offer with assistance in the selection, acquisition, and use of assistive technology devices 
  • Provide training or technical assistance 
  • Our AT Specialists also stay up to date on the latest products on the market that will benefit their clients.

What if I'm not going back to work? 

The Department of Services for the Blind's Independent Living (IL) Services IL Services can help clients find the right combination of AT aids, devices, and accommodations to help clients regain the desired level of independence in their homes or communities.

Learn more about DSB Independent Living Services and available aids and devices.  

School-to-Work Transition (Age 14 to High School Graduation)

School-to-Work Transition helps students, as young as age 14, and their families think about and plan for life after high school. DSB counselors assist with this transition by:

  • Consulting on the student’s vocational activities including part-time employment and internships
  • Participating in Individual Education Plan meetings
  • Providing information regarding our services for adults, including job counseling and training in the adaptive skills of blindness
  • Working in collaboration with students, parents, and school staff on post-school activities

What are the parents and students’ responsibilities?

Until the student is 18 years old, a parent or guardian will sign to authorize services. Parental involvement and support is very important, especially in the early part of the process. Our goal is to move the student toward greater independence. Parents and students are asked to attend meetings with the DSB counselor and school staff to work in collaboration on post-school activities.

How long do DSB services last?

There is no set time limit. Time varies depending on the individual needs of the client and the services provided. Once the student has reached the age of 18, he/she can continue to receive services in:

  • Job Counseling and Placement
  • Skills of Blindness Training
  • Assistive Technology

What can DSB do for children, their families and their service providers?

Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) serves children and youth who are blind or have low vision from birth through age 21.

We provide:

  • Information and referral to the appropriate community resources.
  • Training in understanding the specialized developmental needs and parenting techniques for a child who is blind or has low vision.
  • Assistance in understanding the nature and potential impact of the child's visual disability.
  • Counseling towards building the foundation of a productive, independent and successful childhood, youth, and adulthood.
  • Assistance in advocating for access needs through the K-through-12 school system.
  • Training for the child and their family with daily living skills to help the child become more independent at home and participate in household chores.

Request Services

Who is eligible for services?

If you want to be employed and are blind or have low vision, you may be eligible for services. Read about service eligibility.

Are there any fees for your services?

No.  We maximize federal and state resources to keep our services at no-cost to you.

How do I apply?

Request services online for yourself or a loved one. Or contact us at 800-552-7103 or info@dsb.wa.gov for more information.