Some Bloom in spite of all the Gloom: How Emergent is partnering with Blind Low Vision NZ

There is so much positive news around us – we just have to look for it.

The predisposition we all have to focus on the negative is almost ingrained into our nature and is reinforced through mass media messaging.  Bad news does sell papers.  That is just the capitalistic nature of our world.

In spite of that – I wanted to share with you some great things we as a business are doing in our sphere of influence to add some positive vibes into the mix.

Partnering with the Blind Low Vision Foundation of New Zealand to access resources that would otherwise not be overtly considered is something we are proud to be doing.

To that end, there may be some myths worth busting about those who are differently abled when it comes to working and the workplace.  Herewith follows some answers* to some frequently asked questions:

Question 1: How do blind people and those with low vision do their job?

They usually do their job in a similar way to their sighted colleagues. Employees who are blind or have low vision may use a range of adapted skills and tools to enable them to complete tasks required of their job.

Question 2: What tools do they use?

With advances in technology, work tasks for people who are blind or have low vision are becoming more and more accessible.

People who are blind or have low vision can access information by using text-to-speech or screen-magnification software on their computer, for example. There are also devices such as speech enabled smartphones and tablets, personal organisers and electronic magnifiers.

Apple, Microsoft Windows and Android devices are all quite accessible for users who are blind or have low vision. The range of software and apps is also increasing rapidly.

Question 3: What jobs can blind people do?

With the right training, equipment and support, people who are blind or have low vision can enjoy the same career prospects as anyone else.  Jobs where good vision is essential – being a pilot, for example – are obviously off limits, but that’s about it. Otherwise, they can work successfully and productively in just about any role.

Question 4: Can blind people compete with sighted people for the same job?

Absolutely. Blind workers and those with low vision can be just as skilled, qualified, dedicated, safe and eager to work as other people. International research backs this up.

Question 5: How will a blind person get to work?

If a person who is blind or has low vision is ready to work, he or she has likely been travelling independently for some time.  They may take public transport or a taxi, walk or have a driver. Getting to work is the person’s responsibility – just as it is for other staff. 

So there you have it – being differently abled in a technologically able world has bridged what would otherwise be considered a gap or barrier to entry into the work force – and this is something to celebrate and we at Emergent are proud to be part of this enablement.

What is your business doing to be more inclusive in the workplace?  Let me know in the comment section – would love to hear from you.

*Answers to the questions obtained from Blind Low Vision NZ.

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