[nfbmi-talk] Fw: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure

Marcus Simmons MarcusSimmons at comcast.net
Wed Apr 6 20:07:13 UTC 2011

This is very interesting. When I was hired by General motors,Technical 
Center in Warren Michigan, I got the job on the strength of my Resume. They 
didn't bother to interview me or they would known that I was blind. I didn't 
include it in my resume, fearing the discrimination issue. However, they did 
find out when I reported to work, white cane and all.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fred wurtzel" <f.wurtzel at comcast.net>
To: "'NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List'" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 1:53 AM
Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] Fw: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure

> Well, I'm glad she's part ofanother outfit.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] 
> On Behalf Of joe harcz Comcast
> Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 12:59 AM
> To: nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
> Cc: miadaptleaders at yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Fw: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure
> Dear All,
> This is a self proclaimed bigot. Her services such as they might be should 
> be boycotted.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "J.Rayl" <thedogmom63 at frontier.com>
> To: "Mitch Pomerantz" <mitch.pomerantz at earthlink.net>
> Cc: "Acb List" <acb-l at acb.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 10:37 PM
> Subject: Re: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure
>> Well, I can guarantee you that, even though I am blind, were I
>> interviewing for a position in my office, I'd be downright ticked off,
>> and that is putting it mildly, if some blind person wasted my freaking
>> time by applying for a job, then waltzing into my office without
>> telling me she / he was also blind.  And, I'll be danged if they'd get
>> the pleasure of wasting much of it.  First, I'd wonder just what else
>> she / he was hiding.
>> Second, most people just don't think its so cool to be surprised or
>> embarrassed or downright humiliated--and that's exactly what it is.
>> Yes, as a potential employer, I have the responsibility not to be
>> discriminatory, and I'm not.  Other people with disabilities have the
>> responsibility to be halfway respectful and reasonable as well.
>> And, I'll give you a perfect example.  My office is not wheelchair
>> accessible. So someone called whose husband uses a wheelchair.  She
>> didn't bother to ask if it was wheelchair accessible, and the
>> appointment was for her, not him.  So, she jumps out of her van and
>> proceeds to bust in, running off at the mouth about filing a complaint
>> against me.  I asked whether she wanted information about Human Rights
>> or my license Board, and for what reason.  She informed me her husband
>> wanted to come with her and my office was not WCA.
>> I said, "Well, before you really file that complaint, you might want
>> to reconsider.  Had you asked, I would have told you that no, it is
>> not; however, I make accommodations to people who need this in another
>> place that is."  Well, the wind blew straight out of her little sails.
>> So it really doesn't pay to be quite so arogant sometimes.
>> Jessie Rayl
>> EM: thedogmom63 at frontier.com
>> PH:304.671.9780
>> www.facebook.com/eaglewings10
>> "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they
>> shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run, and not be
>> weary"--Isaiah
>> 40.31
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Mitch Pomerantz" <mitch.pomerantz at earthlink.net>
>> To: "'Jessi Rayl'" <thedogmom63 at frontier.com>; "'peter altschul'"
>> <paltschul at centurytel.net>
>> Cc: <acb-l at acb.org>
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 7:22 PM
>> Subject: RE: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure
>> Jessie:
>> I essentially agree with you and as my friend Peter has indicated, he
>> and I have rather differing views on this issue.
>> As someone who has conducted my share of interviews over the years, I
>> can tell you firsthand that interviewers absolutely do not like 
>> surprises.
>> That
>> is why I mention my blindness prior to going in for the interview.
>> That initial 30 seconds or one or two minutes (Andy is being generous,
>> I think) where interviewers are making their initial assessment
>> shouldn't be taken up with the interviewers' shock over having a blind
>> candidate with a cane or guide dog in the office.  And, as Andy has
>> pointed out, pre-interview computer tests are quite prevalent; that's
>> one way to obtain a writing sample that you know hasn't been doctored
>> ahead of time.
>> Because I've been involved in blindness and disability activities for
>> as long as I have, my resume is chock full of mentions of ACB, CCB,
>> and my time with the California Governor's Committee on Employment of
>> Disabled Persons.
>> Right now, if I were applying for another job, I'd list the fact that
>> I've been appointed by the former Governor to serve on the  California
>> Commission on Disability Access.
>> My bottom line in all of this is that 1. my time is too valuable to
>> waste on an employer who can't be told upfront that I am blind; and 2.
>> not telling that employer is more likely than not to result in the
>> would-be employer attempting to get over his or her surprise at having
>> to deal with one of us.
>> Truly, I've never heard of someone getting a job where he or she
>> overcame the interviewers' initial surprise.  It's probably happened;
>> but then again, if the blind candidate got the job, he or she may well
>> have gotten it if they'd been upfront from the get-go.
>> Mitch
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: acb-l-bounces at acb.org [mailto:acb-l-bounces at acb.org] On Behalf
>> Of Jessi Rayl
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 3:28 PM
>> To: 'peter altschul'
>> Cc: acb-l at acb.org
>> Subject: Re: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure
>> Hi.  Well, I do a couple things here.  First, I make my coverletter /
>> resume about my work, my education and my abilities.  It probably will
>> not state, specifically, that I am totally blind, however I am
>> associated with blindness-related things and will not leave these off
>> nor will I go to any great lengths to hide that, or other, obvious
>> give-aways to disability.
>> Also, when obtaining that interview, I will, once I get it, let them
>> know of this fact.  There are several reasons: 1. I never, ever have
>> anyone take me to an interview.  If they do, they park well down the
>> block and drop me off and I find my own way, which means I've got to
>> get some pretty specific directions, but I get their on my own--even
>> if it means the office staff have to tell me (no they do not come out
>> to get me) how to get there.
>> 2.  Some interviews are now done via lunch meetings and the last thing
>> I want to have happen is the same thing that happened to my blind
>> friend who was adamant about not telling of her blindness.  She
>> waltzed in with her blindness, her dog and was suddenly confronted
>> with a group of folks ready to get in cars to go to lunch.  Well, she
>> had no car, no driver and no way to get there.  Guess what she didn't 
>> get?
>> They rescheduled an interview, in an office, and she didn't get the job.
>> So me?  I would inquire about how and where the interviews are
>> conducted, e.g., are they group, etc.  The more info I, and they, have
>> ahead of time, the better prepared we all are.  And then, if I
>> suspected I was not selected, I'd take action at that point.  And I
>> have, did, and got a job as a result of it too.
>> Jessie
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: acb-l-bounces at acb.org [mailto:acb-l-bounces at acb.org] On Behalf
>> Of peter altschul
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 5:37 PM
>> To: acb-l at acb.org
>> Subject: Re: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure
>> Hi:
>> As I'm sure others have told you, disclosing is a very personal choice.
>> For
>> me, I usually find it most effective not to disclose until I actually
>> show up for the interview.  It's important to stress that my work has
>> generally been in the for-profit and noprofit sectors only marhinally
>> related to disability.  I would disclose earlier for federal
>> government jobs because of Schedule A considerations; also, for jobs
>> in the disability sector.  I wrote an article explaining my rationale
>> for this; if anyone is interested, let me know and I will try to find
>> it.
>> BTW, I know our esteemed President disagrees with me on this.
>> And one more thing: this issue may be less relevant because in many
>> cases, an employer will Google your name and will be pretty sure that
>> you have a disability based on the information there.
>> Best, Peter
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>From: "Baracco, Andrew W" <Andrew.Baracco at va.gov
>>>To: <acb-l at acb.org
>>>Date sent: Tue, 5 Apr 2011 14:11:18 -0700
>>>Subject: Re: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure
>>>Job Fairs are very popular today.  Dealing with job fairs is part
>> of my job.  I am either on the other side of the table, representing
>> the VA as an employer, or I am there accompanying some of my clients.
>> There are so many people there that having someone go with you
>>>Would not be noticed, but your guide should stay in the
>> background, and you should approach the table alone.  You can have
>> your guide assist you in filling out an app, if that is being done on the 
>> spot.
>> As for disclosing blindness, usually it would not be a good idea to
>> mention it on a resume unless perhaps you are applying to work at a
>> blindness or disability services organization, like an independent
>> living center, but it should be couched in functional terms, like the
>> fact that you taught Braille, or something like that.  I used to
>> believe that you should never disclose it at all, but my thinking has
>> changed a bit over the years.  I think that a good time to disclose
>> might be when you are contacted about arranging an interview.
>> Sometimes as part of the interview process, there may be a test, or
>> some kind of functional activity, such as a role play, or perhaps
>> doing something with the computer, etc.  When scheduling the
>> interview, you might want to ask if there will be such an activity,
>> and ask if you can bring someone to assist, or if they can provide
>> someone to assist.  Remember that many people have never interacted
>> with a blind person before, and you don’t want to spend your
>> interview time helping them to deal with the shock.
>> One reason that my thinking has changed on this issue is because in
>> 2005 we started a supported employment program for persons with severe
>> mental illness.  Many have issues that make it difficult for them to
>> pursue employment without assistance and support.  Many are good
>> workers once they get acclimated to the job, but they cannot tolerate
>> the stress that accompanies job seeking, and beginning a new job in a
>> new place, with new people, etc.  The employment specialist often must
>> help to sell the employer on giving the person a try.  To my surprise,
>> we have found that employers are willing to take a chance when they
>> know what the issues are, and, in this case, that they have a resource
>> to consult if there are problems.  If the employer knows that you are
>> blind up front, there is the chance that they will balk, but if they
>> don’t, you will have the opportunity to make the interview work in
>> your favor rather than spending 15 minutes helping the interviewer to
>> settle down.  Remember that interviewers make judgments within the
>> first minute or two, so you want to have the opportunity to use that
>> time to sell yourself as an employee, not a disabled employee.  I am
>> often asked where there are jobs for disabled persons.  I tell them
>> that there are no jobs for disabled workers, just jobs for good workers.
>>>From: acb-l-bounces at acb.org [mailto:acb-l-bounces at acb.org] On
>> Behalf Of bookwormahb at earthlink.net
>>>Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 1:00 PM
>>>To: Acb List
>>>Subject: [acb-l] employment strategies and disclosure
>>>Hi all,
>>>I was wondering about your employment strategies over the years.
>>>What worked for you?  Networking? If so where? Did you join
>> certain clubs or interest groups?
>>>Did you go to job fairs with someone?
>>>If so, how did you stand out in the crowd from other job seekers?
>>>I’m intraverted so selling myself and speaking to the
>> recruiters is hard.
>>>I state my education and what I’m looking for  and my
>> background; but not sure if I stand out from others.
>>>I go with someone sighted to these because they are very very
>> crowded and I need to know where certain tables are.
>>>Also, when in the employment search do you disclose your blind?
>>>I do not do this initially on my cover letter or resume; except
>> if its for the government.
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