A career planning and employment resource for people who are blind or partially sighted

Communication Skills​

Communication skills are used to communicate with yourself (for instance, note taking when doing research, or information gathering) and to exchange information with others. People with low vision may use alternatives to print, such as braille or electronic media. Or, if they use print, they may use optical devices or screen enlargement software to read, write or calculate.

Their expressive and receptive language skills are typically spoken and aural, unless there is a hearing impairment in addition to a visual impairment, in which case manual communication skills—such as sign language—may be necessary.

For workers with vision loss, communication skills are critical to their success in employment. These skills enable them to get and give information to others, learn job tasks—from manuals and written directives—follow verbal or signed directions, and perhaps most importantly, engage with others in conversations geared towards building interpersonal relationships.

Communication skills facilitate integration into the social network that supports workers as they team up to accomplish work-related projects. These are also the skills that enable employees with vision loss to express their desires for career advancement or, simply, to maintain employment.

In this section you will find a series of tip sheets that address the following skills: reading, writing, listening, conversation, and calculation. These ideas can help you identify communication strategies that may work for you in a work environment based on your degree of vision loss. The aim is to shore up or add to your knowledge in this important content area, specifically with regard to what’s expected of you or what may prove helpful in an employment role.

You can find links to these sections below:

Tips for improving your reading skills

Tips for improving your writing skills

Tips for improving your listening skills

Tips for improving your conversation skills

Tips for improving your calculation skills​

For more information on communication skills that make use of alternatives to using vision, visit the resources section. ​​​