Can I Be a Nurse if My Vision is Impaired?
Absolutely, you can be a nurse if you have a visual disability. You may have been told that you could not be a nurse, but NOND has Board members with visual impairments who are successful nurses. After you look at the resources on our website, one of these nurses would be happy to talk with you about their adaptations, if needed, but remember that you must learn to be your own advocate.
The ADA Amendments specify that mitigating measures or devices such as special eye wear cannot be considered in determining whether a person has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (the criterion for protection under the ADA). This means that your bioptics (described below) or other special adaptations that help you function well do not disqualify you for protection under the ADA. In addition, here are some specific suggestions from our Board members about how you might adapt to the clinical setting:
- Please explore our website for resources in regard to education, advocacy, and work. For assistance with the ADA, contact the Americans with Disabilities Act Technical Assistance Centers. Learning about the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 will help you to understand how the ADAAA broadens coverage for many individuals.
- For protection, advocacy, and legal assistance, contact your state National Disability Rights Network. Be sure to click on your state so that you get relevant and timely information. Also check out your rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- For connections with people with disabilities in your community, contact your local Center for Independent Living.
- Information about how to get a job, contact State Vocational Rehabilitation Program or the Job Accommodation Network.
Disclaimer: The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) does not offer legal advice but NOND does offer resources to help you understand your rights, protections, and responsibilities within various Disability Rights Laws.