Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Andrew R. Brulle


In an effort to obtain careers that are competitive, with advancement opportunities, persons identified as visually impaired have been blocked by attitudinal barriers of society. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of employer attitudes on employment opportunities for persons who are visually impaired in competition with individuals who are sighted. The population surveyed was a group of 200 employers of accountants field in the state of Illinois. The study was conducted using a questionnaire and a set of eight resumes of fictional individuals. Employers received packets containing the materials and were asked to review the resumes as if they were planning to hire an accountant. The cover letter provided step-by-step instructions for ranking and selecting candidates for interview and possible employment based on applicants' employable skills. The employers indicated the influencing factors upon which they based their decision. Analysis of the data suggests the barrier of unrealistic opinions and attitudes of employers was found to be prevalent in the employers' responses. Even though the applicants were competitive with regard to education, specialized skills, and work experience, those applicants who were visually impaired were generally ranked as least likely to be chosen. The results of the study indicate that there is support for the hypothesis that the label visually impaired negatively influences the hiring practices of employers in the accounting field.