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Why you should hire somebody who is blind or has low vision

28 September 2017

People from the blind and low vision community are no different from their sighted peers in that they make passionate, committed and efficient employees.

Despite this, 58% of people who are blind or have low vision, and who want to work, are unemployed. This is compared to a 14% unemployment rate in the wider Australian population.

Image shows VA client Paul sitting at his desk
The reality is, people who are blind or have low vision are capable of participating effectively in a wide range of work places. These are Vision Australia’s top five reasons for employers to consider employing people from the blindness and low vision community.

  1. People who or blind or have low vision are extremely similar to their sighted peers: Just like those who are sighted, people from the blind and low vision community want to work. Like anybody else they value the independence and satisfaction that comes with employment.
  2. Best person for the job: somebody who is blind or has low vision may be the best candidate for the job: The blindness an low vision community put a great value on employment and are more likely to apply for jobs that align with their passions, skills and qualifications.
  3. Creating a varied workforce: Hiring people from the blind or low vision community is an excellent step towards creating workforces and workplaces that are truly diverse and inclusive.
  4. Make the most of technology: Advances in technology have helped people who are blind or have low vision to become highly efficient and capable employees. There is a wide range of specialised equipment available to help people who are blind or have low vision to complete tasks and it is likely to be government funded.
  5. Employee loyalty: Research shows people who are blind or have low vision highly value their employers and places of work and are likely to be committed employees.

People who are blind or have low vision read emails, use computers, attend meetings, get to and from work and even make themselves a cup of tea just like anyone else.

Vision Australia’s Employment Consultants can assist employers and staff with information and support on how they can welcome people from the blind and low vision community into their workplaces.

To further help increase employment opportunities for people who are blind or have low vision, Vision Australia is lobbying government for the Australian Standard for the procurement of accessible Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the EN 301 549, to be mandated, monitored and publicly reported on.

Vision Australia believe this will lead to a widespread increase in workplace accessibility, diversity and inclusion.

For more information on Vision Australia’s Employment Assistance services, call 1300 84 74 66 or email info@visionaustralia.org.

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