Advocating for Deaf-Blind in the Workplace

Deaf-Blind in the workplace is on the increase globally and should be seen as any other employment. Deaf blindness might imply a complete vacancy of hearing and sight, but this isn’t the case. Many who are deaf-blind have some hearing or vision or both. People who are deaf-blind can learn skills to work around hurdles. With assisting and usable technology, people who are deaf-blind can be employed in any type industry and work.

Sight Hearing Encouragement Program is pushing towards and providing job skill training for those that are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing.  We believe that deaf-blind individuals can learn strategies to work around the challenges posed by their hearing and vision loss. We teach with the help of assistive technology so that individuals who are deaf-blind can be employed in careers across all industries of work.  Currently our organization is branching out training specialists who will be working with individuals that have hearing impairments so they can gain the proficiency they need to thrive in employment opportunities.

We believe that people with deaf-blindness are trustworthy employees and have a higher job retention according to studies. Additionally, employers that take on deaf-blind persons receive tax credits and other incentives. Hiring an employee who is deaf-blind brings diversity into the workplace and brings awareness to hearing persons.

If you are a deaf-blind person that is without work, just remember Helen Keller as an example of what is possible. Your deaf-blindness has no limit when it comes to employment.

Employees who are deaf-blind acknowledge Helen Keller’s legacy. Her work was significantly important and her work should be celebrated.

Ronald Reagan designated Helen Keller Deaf-Blind week over 30 years ago. Helen ‘s achievements as a person who set an example in communities and the workplace is astounding. She showed the world how people with vision and hearing loss can get, keep and progress through careers. She was the first deaf-blind person to graduate from College with a Bachelors Degree. 90 years ago she was employed with the American Foundation for the blind and stayed for over 40 years. She achieved get education and career goals years ago without the resources we see today.

Assistive technology is important for employees who are blind or visually impaired. They are able to access computers and systems within the workplace. Scanners, magnifiers, digital recorders, braille and screen reading software are the more popular examples.

Accessible website, employee portals and message boards should be available to the blind employees. If none is available it should be requested to the employer.