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

tribble lauraeaves at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 28 05:07:08 UTC 2009

Hi all --
The world has changed since I was working, which was mostly before the ADA, 
but I had a very proactive attitude about things then and bought all my own 
equipment before applying for jobs, working through grad school to pay 
expenses, and preparing to demonstrate to recruiters what I was able to do 
and how so they wouldn't be skeptical.
In all the interviews I went to, only one -- the one from Motorola, was 
skeptical. She went so far as to laugh at my audacity and not even consider 
my application. But the other companies were quite serious about hiring 
me -- I had a good GPA and was serious about finding a good job.  Some 
interviews I even asked if they wanted me to demo my CCTV equipment, and the 
interviewer declined, saying if I could get through school he was sure I 
could do the work.
My point is, I think there is nothing wrong with bypassing the government 
money and buying things yourself if you can manage it -- the benefits being 
(1) the equipment is yours and not property of the government or your 
employer, (2) you have it sooner, (3) you don't have to ask a prospective 
employer to fund it, and (4) you get it configured the way you want.
And of course it reduces ever so slightly the trillions of debt the 
government is racking up.
Just a thought.
Flame away if you disagree.
I know it is not possible for some to buy their own equipment, and I'm not 
against government assistance, but I think if a person is looking to buy 
equipment, it is best to get as much as possible himself rather than fill 
out forms and get an already bankrupt government to fund everything.
And as for employers picking up the tab, I tended to voucher only 
maintenance on my old equipment and when new technology came out I did have 
my employer pay for the screen reader I used at work -- my justification 
being that other people were vouchering expensive and nonessential equipment 
to play around with in their offices, and the screen reader was cheaper and 
more important in my view...
Anyway, good luck to all in your jobs, current and prospective.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Antonio M. Guimaraes" <iamantonio at cox.net>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Proposal to Decrease Unemployment Among the Blind

Another problem with companies is that they think hiring a blind person
means big and expensive adaptations in the workplace.

Sometimes that is exactly the case, but if money is spent to accomodate one,
or two, or 5 blind people, then the price of accomodating the next 50 or 100
blind people drops significantly.

I'm sure there is a name for this sort of thing, scale, or some statistical
concept, but if computer systems are made accessible, and it costs $100000
in two years, the spenditures might be dropped to $10000 in the next 5 years
to maintain accessibility.

Antonio Guimaraes

If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup
trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of
highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great literary
works in Braille.

Shop online and support the NFB of RI at no additional cost to you.
Givebackamerica.org, America's Online Charity Shopping Mall
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Alan Wheeler" <awheeler at neb.rr.com>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 4:33 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Proposal to Decrease Unemployment Among the Blind

> 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,
> Alan
> +-+-+-
>   Sing to him a new song. Play skillfully with a shout of joy!
> Psalms 33:3
> ~~~
> awheeler at neb.rr.com
> IM me at: outlaw-cowboy at live.com
> 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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