References, Statistics, & Other Information
This last blog in the series for NDEAM is basically just throwing out some information for those of you that need a bit more information about possibly hiring someone who is disabled. And as before, I’m giving you the ones that I know of for a fact, those who are blind only. So, as to not clog your day, let’s get on with it.
Organizations for the Blind:
National Federation for the Blind http://www.nfb.org
American Foundation for the Blind http://www.afb.org
• In the years since the ADA went into effect the unemployment rate for those of us that are disabled has risen 10%.
• The overall unemployment rate for the disabled is 30%
• It has risen from 49% and 59% to 59% and 69% for men and women respectively
Equipment for the Blind:
Computer Programs – There are several programs that assist us that are visually impaired and blind with utilizing the computer. Some of these are expensive and others less so. But they all help us to be able to use a computer, as well as those of you with sight.
JAWS – From Freedom Scientific this reads the computer screen and websites to those who are blind. It allows us to do everything that you can do with a variety of voice styles and languages.
Magic does the same thing but is by a different provider
Window Eyes & Zoom Text is magnifiers. They basically magnify the computer screen so that those who have limited vision can operate this infernal machine as well as anyone.
Braille text writers for the computer enable those who can read braille, to use the computer and take orders/complaints for example in a call center. Depending on how fast you can read it, they can be as fast as any sighted CSR.
Other Equipment for Disabled:
Think all of those wonderful gadgets that talk and are so convenient nowadays were developed for sighted people only? Not a chance! Talking watches, smart phones, micro digital recorders, talking machines (of all kinds), and many other items make it soooo much easier for a person who is disabled to go to work. Some are expensive; others are not and are fairly cheap for a company to purchase to provide accommodations.
I don’t know all the alphabet soup of agencies that can assist you with helping provide accommodations to those of us who want to work. I would suggest contacting these agencies and organizations;
Department of Health & Human Services
State Departments of Vocational Rehabilitation
The national organizations listed above and other similar
From blind, deaf, paraplegic, Asperger’s, quadriplegic, and every other kind of disability you can think of, can now work if they wish to. And trust me most of us who worked all of our lives until our disability caused us not to be able to, want to.
So, the next time a disabled person wanders into your business and wants to apply for a job, why automatically put the file in ‘round file #13? I’m hoping that I’ve given you plenty of answers and things to think about when it comes to hiring the disabled into your business. Whether that be security, customer service, media, stock room clerk, or just as a janitor, we can do the same jobs you can do with no disabilities.
Most great people have their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. He has spent 31 years in the field and despite going blind in 2003, he still writes, blogs, and appears in the media as an expert. He has written 2 books, more than 2 dozen articles, and a twice weekly blog since going blind.