Guide Dogs Says Businesses Should Hire People With Vision Impairment

Guide Dogs for the Blind are urging people who own business to open their eyes to the benefits of employing someone who is vision impaired or blind. This follows from the results of an online poll conducted by the organisation which suggests that 37% of the vision impaired or blind that are of working age are currently unemployed, with 91% saying they wanted a job. This means there is a vast untapped workforce that is not being utilised.

As a result Guide Dogs has launched its ‘Have cane, am able to work‘ employer awareness campaign.  The campaign has the simple objective of trying to increase the number of people that are either vision impaired or blind that are part of the workforce.

Vision impaired make for great employees

Dr. Graeme White CEO of Guide Dogs says that employer feedback indicates that vision impaired or blind people tend to make excellent employees because they display loyalty and a determination to work hard and succeed. Dr. White points out that despite this fact and the desire to work, vision impaired people are over four times more likely not to have a job compared to the average Australian.

The campaign by Guide Dogs seeks to address some of the most common employer concerns including the perception that someone with vision impairment cannot work because they won’t be able to get around work safely or use a computer. Largely as a result of Guide Dogs or the long cane, people with vision impairment have the ability to travel safely to, from and around work. Text to voice technology allows these people to read emails and do other things on the computer.

Top 3 benefits of hiring someone who is blind or vision impaired:

  • Vision impaired people are much more likely to be loyal to an employer resulting in a lower rate of attrition and reduced cost of employment.
  • As a result of the many challenges vision impaired people face every day, they tend to be flexible, resourceful and most importantly great problem solvers.
  • Disabled people tend to take less sick leave than their colleagues.

Graeme Innes who is blind and knows just how important it is to have a job says there needs to be a change of attitude. Mr. Innes started the Attitude Foundation after having worked as Australia’s Disability Commissioner. He says that employers require support if they are going to give people a chance and we all have a responsibility to ensure everyone gets the same opportunity. So if you have been thinking about hiring new workers, why not hire someone with vision impairment, you won’t regret it!

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