Transcript

Dr. Kirk Adams: Hi. I’m Dr. Kirk Adams, President of the American Foundation for the Blind. We've done so much good work over the last century, and we're just getting started.

Audio Description: A title: AFB: WE’RE ALL ABOUT INCLUSION.

During this video, Dr. Kirk Adams, a white man with short light hair, speaks to us.

Throughout this video individuals who are blind or visually impaired work, and sighted individuals, socialize and engage in different activities.

Voiceover: Inclusion is the foundation we’re built on. We continue to lead the way toward creating a world that recognizes the full potential of people who are blind or visually impaired.

"We are natural problem solvers, and bring ingenuity and creativity to any team. And yet, we are still woefully underrepresented."

Only about 36% of blind and visually impaired people are employed versus 69% of those without disabilities. But we have the power to change this.

Dr. Adams: Seven out of 10, blind people are not in the workforce. That's a lot of talent, sitting on the sidelines and the the news headlines are full of talk of labor shortages and employers not being able to staff up, and what we're here to connect those, those two realities.

Voiceover: With rapidly evolving digital tools and increasing acceptance of remote work, accessibility is better than ever.

Actively including us in the modern workplace has never been more attainable.

Audio Description: A title: AFB: WE’RE ALL ABOUT LEADERSHIP.

Dr. Kirk Adams: Everyone should be able to bring their best selves to work, and not just for their own personal fulfillment and satisfaction, but for the good of their organization for the good of society. People who are blind, live every day with ample opportunities to develop wonderful skills around resilience, grit, creativity, the ability to analyze and manage risk.

Voiceover: And at AFB we have a comprehensive roadmap to achieve fully inclusive organizations and businesses, both big and small.

We stand ready to challenge and equip employers to catch up to our ambitions.

A fully inclusive workplace reflects the diversity of our society—the values and the lived experiences of all employees of all backgrounds and abilities.

Dr. Adams: So I understand the barriers to inclusion and employment for people who are blind. And I'm determined and dedicated to making it easier for the next generation of blind people to find meaningful career paths.

Inclusion at work means, for people who are blind, what it means for everybody.

It’s the right thing to do and it’s long overdue.

Audio Description: Title: AFB: WE’RE ALL ABOUT PUTTING INCLUSION TO WORK.

Voiceover: It may not be easy, but we can do it. With generous supporters like Gordon Gund, we’re getting even closer. Mr. Gund has made a transformative gift in honor of his wife, that will help us level the playing field for blind and visually impaired people who want to work.

Dr. Kirk Adams: Today, we’re thrilled to celebrate the inauguration of The Llura Gund Workforce Inclusion Fund.

Mr Gund made a two million dollar personal gift to AFB earlier in the summer. And he challenged us to reach out to other partners and donors and supporters and raise an additional two million dollars for employment programs over the next 12 months, upon which his foundation, the Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation, will add another million. So that gives us the resources we need to hire the staff to design the programs to begin implementing, so that we can have impact, as soon as possible.

Audio Description: 2 million dollars + 2 million dollars + 1 million dollars = 5 million dollars Llura Gund Workforce Inclusion Fund"

Title: AFB: WE’RE ALL ABOUT IMPACT

Voiceover: And with your contributions we aim to secure millions more in matching funds that will take us even further towards these goals.

Through this approach we will:

  • train and empower more blind and visually impaired people
  • create more meaningful and rewarding livelihoods,
  • more education programs for employers
  • more recruitment and engagement for a diverse, disability-inclusive workforce.

Dr. Kirk Adams: We are using the Leadership Challenge curriculum developed by Kouzes and Posner. It's a year-long program. We're very excited about it. Five years from now we'll have 100-120 graduates of the program.

Voiceover: That’s even more results, and more impact...to get us that much closer…to a future where we see inclusion at work as the norm, and not the exception."

Audio Description: Title: AFB: WE’RE ALL ABOUT YOU.

Dr. Kirk Adams:Join us in working towards our bold centennial vision! Join us. Donate, volunteer, and invite others. Join us and let's achieve inclusion at work together.

Audio Description: A logo: AFB 100 (Service Mark). Inclusion Knows No Limits.