The visual ability and employment capability of the partially sighted school leaver: a clinical study

  • John M. Wild

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The study was undertaken to investigate the visual ability
and employment capability of partially sighted school leavers.

The concept of visual ability was discussed and aspects
relating to the employment of the partially sighted were reviewed.

Visual ability investigations were carried out on a sample of
195 final year pupils attending five schools for the partially
sighted-in the three consecutive academic years 1976-79. The
investigations covered various aspects: static distance and near
visual acuity measured using both conventional and specially
designed charts, the status of the peripheral and central fields,
the integrity of the colour sense and a study of dynamic visual
acuity. Ophthalmic, educational and biographical information
for these youngsters was also extracted from their school records,
and also from the records of a further 160 final year pupils.
attending 8 other schools for the partially sighted.

A postal questionnaire was sent to the 355 youngsters
approximately one year after the date of leaving school, requesting
information on the employment record. A response rate of 85.6%
was achieved.

Of the 304 leavers responding to the questionnaire, approximately
55% had sought employment and 45% had entered courses of higher or
further education and training.

measure of occupational success, based on job tenure, was
derived for the youngsters who had sought employment. The visual
ability data together with the data from the records was then related
to this measure of occupational success, correlational analysis being
used to ascertain the presence of any linear associations.

Small, but statistically significant correlations, were obtained
between employment success and the sex of the youngster, academic
qualifications, topics concerning the youngster's attitude to visual
impairment and to the interaction with the normally sighted, the
presence of an unemployed relative and one measure of distance visual

Recommendations were made concerning future areas of research,
Date of Award1981
Original languageEnglish


  • visual ability
  • employment capability
  • partially sighted
  • school leaver

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