4 reasons why we’re focusing on San Francisco’s low vision and blind community first
1. California has the nation’s second largest blind/low vision population
California has a total population of about 38.9 million residents, with the total number of blind/low vision individuals is about 348,000 (as of 2018). This is the second highest population of blind individuals in the USA next to Florida whose blind population is about 364,000. A major factor in our pinpointing of San Francisco as our first area to focus on is due to the population within the city: about 3,318,000. If blind individuals were divided evenly among all cities in California, we could estimate the visually impaired population in San Francisco at about 31,048.
2. San Francisco has great public transportation
When it comes to getting around, San Francisco has extremely good transportation systems in place. This is a huge factor in helping blind and low vision people get around safely, independently, and efficiently. In addition to San Francisco’s buses, trolleys/streetcars, cable cars, rapid transit trains and ferries, the city also offers the PresidiGo shuttle (a completely free public transit system around San Francisco), and the Paratransit van and taxi service for people with disabilities. Not only does this help the blind people in the area, it also benefits employers to expand their search beyond candidates with driver’s licenses.
3. The blind population in California has a 54.6% unemployment rate
Another factor we took into consideration is unemployment in California as a whole. The unemployment rate of all visually impaired people, ages of 21-64, and of all races, ethnicities, and education levels was 54.6% as of 2018.
4. California has industries blind people want to work in
Some of the industries the blind are most likely to work in are retail, medicine, manufacturing, and entertainment. Retail and manufacturing are in California’s top ten industries, which gives blind Californians a good chance at finding careers they want.