At AFB we are committed to supporting job seekers who are blind or have low vision. We know that for job seekers who are visually impaired, there are often technology obstacles along their path to employment but the perception barriers can be an even bigger hurdle.
So in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we offer these 10 specific ways you can combat ableism in the workplace.
1. Hire blind people: Actively recruit, refer, and recommend blind and low vision candidates for interesting job opportunities. Your company will benefit—as the human rights lawyer Haben Girma has noted, people with disabilities drive innovation.
2. Start an internship program for people who are blind at your company or organization.
3. Create an employee resource group for staff with disabilities to share tips, strategies, networking opportunities, and support for new hires.
4. Be an internal champion for inclusion: Ensure your website and digital assets (PDF files, presentations, etc.) are accessible.
5. Add audio description and captions to your company’s videos and describe images that go out on social media. Learn more about our recommended social media accessibility guidelines.
6. Watch and share AFB’s webinars on Mitigating Unconscious Bias and Creating Inclusive Remote Work Environments. (All AFB webinars are captioned and audio described, and full transcripts are available.)
7. Include accessibility requirements in your vendor agreements. Make your expectations clear. Learn more about Creating a Workplace Culture of Accessibility: 7 Questions to Ask Your Vendors.
8. Routinely include people with different access methods in your usability testing. Disability is not an edge case. If you maintain a website, manage an email newsletter, or develop software of any kind, you are already designing for people with disabilities. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 Americans has a disability of some kind.
9. Participate in our Workplace Tech Study—AFB is taking a multi-pronged approach to understand the technology experiences, training tools, required tasks, barriers, and accessibility needs of people in competitive, knowledge-based fields. And we need sighted participants, too! If you work in finance, healthcare, or IT/communications, learn more about participating in a focus group.