The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently published a story, entitled, “When it Comes to Hiring, Blind Workers Face Bias.” The WSJ article (available at http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2013/03/18/when-it-comes-to-hiring-blind-workers-face-bias/) summarizes the results of a survey of 400 hiring and human-resources managers conducted by National Industries for the Blind (NIB). The survey reveals that many employers still believe that people who are blind or visually impaired are unable to perform adequately in the workplace and that accommodations are too costly. These misperceptions help explain why the unemployment rate for people who are blind is almost 70 percent.
In fact, research and experience indicate just the opposite. NIB represents more than 100 agencies nationwide that run businesses that create meaningful employment opportunities for people who are blind. Some individuals work within the agencies, holding positions in manufacturing, services, administration, and management. Others work with agency staff to secure or maintain employment in positions throughout our communities. Physical and technological accommodations are often needed, but are much less costly and more readily available than the NIB survey revealed.
The Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment (A.V.R.E.) works with people who are blind or visually impaired in nine New York counties to create, identify, and secure satisfying, good-paying jobs. We work with employees and employers to provide the necessary accommodations and training for success in the workplace. Our employees and consumers are proof that vision loss is a challenge that can be overcome.
Our mission is to assist people who have a vision disability enhance life quality through attaining or maintaining personal and economic independence, and help remove obstacles imposed by vision disabilities. If you have a vision disability and want to work, or you’re an employer interested in learning more, contact us at (607) 724-2428.
Robert K. Hanye is the president and CEO of A.V.R.E. headquartered in Binghamton. Contact him at (607) 724-2428 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.avreus.org