Looking on the bright side : employment barriers experienced by employed, totally blind New Zealanders and how these were minimised or overcome : a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University, Palmerston North
The purpose of this research is to discover what employment barriers exist for totally blind, employed New Zealanders, and reveal the factors which led to success for the 22 study participants. Chapter one introduces the topic of employment barriers experienced by people with disabilities, focusing on those with vision impairments in particular. The work programmes of a number of State and voluntary sector organisations is briefly reviewed, as these relate to the amelioration of barriers to education and employment. Two New Zealand studies relating to employment blindness issues, undertaken 21 years apart, are introduced, compared and contrasted. The purpose of research into employment barriers and the success factors important in redressing those barriers is outlined. The majority of studies reviewed in chapter two are international. These examine employment barriers and success factors relating to people with a range of vision impairments: from partial to total vision loss. Chapter three outlines the methodology and methods used in the present study. The chapter includes information relating to research design and proceedings, major concepts and variables, setting and apparatus, ethical and political issues and analysis of research findings. Chapter four describes the results of the study in depth, exploring the barriers to employment for totally blind New Zealanders and postulating explanations for the phenomena associated with success. Finally, chapter five discusses the findings from the study (noting trends also evident in the literature), examines these in the light of contemporary vocational issues, makes recommendations based on research findings and recommends further research.