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

Alan Wheeler awheeler at neb.rr.com
Fri Feb 27 21:33:05 UTC 2009

Yes, a big part of the problem is that sighted employers have this misconception that blindness = lack of brain function...that if the eyes don't work, the brain certainly doesn't either...and we all know that is dead wrong.

In Christ,


   Sing to him a new song. Play skillfully with a shout of joy! 
 Psalms 33:3
awheeler at neb.rr.com
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Skype: redwheel1

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Andrews" <dandrews at visi.com>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 01:59
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Proposal to Decrease Unemployment Among the Blind

> Eddie:
> 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.
> Dave
> 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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