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

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Sat Feb 28 00:23:10 UTC 2009

Wow. Fantastic idea. If we could get each blind person their own laptop and 
a copy of the screen reader of their choice, they could walk into a job 
interview with a laptop and show the interviewer what they can do.

I went to an interview for a job as a computer systems administrator one 
time and the person interviewing me said, "But you can't use a computer, 
you're blind." I explained that I use a screen reader. She said, "But you 
can't read your email can you?" I assured her I could but I could tell she 
wasn't buying it. I wanted to say, "Look at my resume. I've been working as 
a systems administrator for like 20 years. Do you think I could do that if I 
couldn't even read my own email?" Needless to say I didn't get that job. But 
I started taking my laptop with me to job interviews after that.

You know there is that One Laptop Per Child organization. How about one 
laptop per blind person?

What are you going to do next? How are you going to make your idea happen?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eddie" <jazzdogg1 at comcast.net>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 12:22 PM
Subject: [nfb-talk] Proposal to Decrease the Blind Unemployment Rate

> 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.
> Sincerely,
> Eddie Salcido
> _______________________________________________
> nfb-talk mailing list
> nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-talk_nfbnet.org

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