National Technical Assistance Center on Blindness and Visual Impairment (NTAC-BVI)

NTAC-BVI
Mississippi State University

Why Hire Workers who are Blind or Have Low Vision?

As an employer, you’re looking for employees who are dedicated, reliable, and good problem-solvers. You may worry about hiring an individual who is blind to join your workforce, asking yourself:

  • “Will a blind individual be able to keep up with the workload?”
  • “Will he/she be able to work effectively and efficiently?"
  • “What are my legal obligations when I employ a person with a disability?”

People with blindness and low vision work successfully in many areas of the workforce. The problem-solving skills and can-do attitude individuals who are blind use to cope with their disability make them tenacious employees who know how to think creatively about challenges they encounter.

Individuals who are blind are eager to be given a chance, making dedicated employees who are less likely than other workers to leave their employer for another job. If your business struggles with staff turnover, a person who is blind can be a great asset to the stability of the work environment.

Employees with blindness and low vision can use specialized equipment and techniques that allow them to accomplish most workplace tasks. With some creative thinking and commitment, many jobs can be adjusted to accommodate a person with blindness or low vision.

Hiring Incentives

The federal government offers a Work Opportunity Tax Credit to companies who hire individuals with blindness or low vision. State government incentives may also be available- check with your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency to find out.

In addition, if your organization is a federal government entity or a federal contractor, individuals with blindness or low vision are productive employees who can help you meet federal disabled workforce mandates.

Interested in Hiring?

Your state VR agency works with individuals with blindness and low vision to prepare them for the workplace and find job placements. If you’re interested in hiring, VR counselors can supply qualified candidates and help facilitate their transition into your workforce. They can also assist you with taking advantage of financial incentives that may be available to you and navigating the legal requirements of hiring individuals with disabilities. Our list of state VR agencies can help you get in touch with the agency in your area.

Here are a few additional organizations and resources that can help you navigate the process of adding an individual with blindness or low vision to your workforce: