[nfb-talk] Proposal to Decrease Unemployment Among the Blind

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Fri Feb 27 19:59:08 UTC 2009


We certainly need ideas and discussion about how to lessen the 
unemployment rate for blind persons.  Your idea might help some, but 
I don't think it gets at the real causes of the problem.  The problem 
isn't getting technology into the hands of the job seeker, it is the 
attitudinal barriers against hiring the blind that the sighted public 
holds.  Simply put we can't find that many jobs and job sites where 
people are willing to give blind guys a chance.  We also need more 
work in finding ways and developing  technologies to make different 
kinds of job tasks accessible.  Finally, I have observed that many 
blind persons who are looking for work just don't have strong enough 
computer skills.  Providing them with technology more easily might 
help some, but the main problem is training.


At 09:13 AM 2/27/2009, you wrote:
>Dear List Members,
>I would like to propose an as yet very general outline on how to 
>improve the unemployment numbers in the blindness community.  I am 
>open to suggestions on how this may play out in actuality.
>We have heard the 70 percent unemployment statistic for the last 30 
>years with little or no fluctuation.  I propose a capital campaign 
>not unlike the one initiated to build the Jernigan Institute.  The 
>funds raised by this effort would be exclusively used to purchase 
>access technology for blind job seekers, effectively bypassing the 
>red tape often experienced with state departments of rehabilitation 
>and other governmental employment agencies.  We know that employers 
>are extremely hesitant to hire people with disabilities due to the 
>perceived expenses involved in doing so.  This would affectively 
>nullify that concern while demonstrating that we are some of the 
>most dedicated and loyal workers once we obtain gainful 
>employment.  Perhaps funds for this project could be incorporated 
>under the umbrella of the imagination fund.  While some may argue 
>that this effectively turns the NFB into a rehab agency, I posit 
>that we could do this kind of work as we have undertaken every other 
>project--with a high level of standards and expectation for our 
>members, along with a positive philosophy of blindness. Please 
>respond with ideas and thoughts.
>Eddie Salcido
>nfb-talk mailing list
>nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
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