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The Resume

At Work

Candice is a hiring manager at a busy call center. “I was filling a new position and Danielle clearly had the customer service experience we wanted,” she said.

But there was one hitch: According to her resume, Danielle graduated from Perkins School for the Blind before earning her bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.

“I’m so embarrassed to say this, but I was worried about the work involved. Our office isn’t equipped to accommodate a blind person. Honestly, my gut instinct was to throw her resume in the trash.”

“Then it hit me. That’s illegal – and for good reason. I gave her a call.”

Danielle, who has low vision, nailed the interview. She explained to Candice that a screen magnifier and large-print keyboard were all she needed to hit the ground running.

Today, Danielle is one of the highest-rated employees at the call center.

“Blindness doesn’t get in her way. I can’t believe I almost overlooked such a tremendous asset to this company.”

CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE

Discuss technology.
If you’re wondering whether your organization can accommodate a blind employee, know that assistive technology like braille notetakers, screen readers, and magnifying software quickly transform a typical office into an accessible workspace for a blind person. Many blind people bring their own devices to work.

Ask a question.
If you are not sure how your blind colleague or a potential job candidate might perform a certain job function, just ask. The only way to know is to have a conversation and blind people are used to answering these kinds of questions.

Host a discussion.
Talk to your employees about how to make a blind coworker feel comfortable and included in workplace activities. If anyone is concerned about how to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s best to host a discussion around it rather than send people to an informational link.

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BlindNewWorld is sponsored by Perkins School for the Blind, where Helen Keller challenged and dramatically changed society’s perceptions of individuals with disabilities. Founded in 1829, Perkins is the leading global enterprise dedicated to advancing the lives of the young blind population through education, accessibility and innovation.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” - Helen Keller

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