Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-20-2019


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education


School of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Lisa Lopez Levers

Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Joseph

Committee Member

Dr. Waganesh Zeleke


visual impairment, vision loss, negative employer attitudes, employer attitudes, employees with visual impairments, people with disabilities


Negative employer attitudes toward people with visual impairments who are already employed is a topic that rarely has been discussed in the literature. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to explore, understand, and describe how employees with visual impairments process and overcome perceived negative employer attitudes. Seventeen themes emerged as a result of this study. Some of the themes emphasize the lived existentials (lived time, lived space, lived body, and lived other) connected with being the object of an employer’s negative attitude. Other themes emphasize the risk factors that exist in the environment(s) of employees with visual impairments who experience negative employer attitudes. The most commonly mentioned risk factor was being the only employee with a visual impairment, and the second most commonly mentioned risk factor was employees’ being on their own or left by themselves. Finally, having no support from others was the third most commonly mentioned risk factor. Some of the themes emphasized protective factors that appear or need to be constructed in the environment(s) of employees with visual impairments to mitigate experiences of negative employer attitudes. Having a support system was the most commonly mentioned protective factor, and knowing disability laws and having a positive sense of self were tied as the second most commonly mentioned protective factors.