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

Christine Boone christine_boone at comcast.net
Thu Apr 7 14:03:33 UTC 2011

While I  am also glad that this writer  is not part of the NFB, I am sorry ,  that she gives people with conservative political views a very bad name.  
The rant below, concerning blindness or disability disclosure  is really out of line, and I was  rather horrified that  the writer sounded downright proud of the fact that her office was not accessible.  If this were 1992, it might be appropriate to expect patrons to ask first about wheelchair accessibility, and to provide services to persons with disabilities in another location.  However, in 2011 I do not think it is too much to ask that any office to which the public is invited  should be accessible to everyone-  

Just my view.  

On Apr 6, 2011, at 1:53 AM, Fred wurtzel wrote:

> 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.
>>> Andy
>>> 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.
>>> Thanks.
>>> Ashley
>>> ûï¿
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