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
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.