Providing accommodations for blind and low vision employees is not just a privilege for these members of your staff, it is a right. People who do not have full vision should have the same access to company resources as the rest of your team.
When you hire a person who is blind or has low vision, your first priority should be discussing their needs and preferences for workplace accommodations. Initiating this conversation early on will let your new employee know that you are serious about giving them everything they need for a successful career within your organization. Below are a few ways you can get started.
When your employee first starts working for you or when you make any changes to your systems or software, you need to provide modified training materials. Blind and low vision employees often use technology differently than full sight individuals, especially if assistive technology is involved.
Make sure you work with whoever develops the assistive technology to put together a training specifically for blind and low vision employees. These accommodations will ensure that they can complete their work with the same quality as their seeing colleagues.
Accessible Written Materials
One thing to note about providing accessible written materials is that not every employee will prefer the same medium. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to accessibility options. Some people favor braille accessibility while others are auditory learners and like to be able to hear the materials. People with low sight may just require larger text options.
The most important takeaway about providing written material accommodations for blind and low vision employees is that you ask them about their preferences instead of deciding for them.
Providing assistive technology may be the most important thing you can do to improve inclusion for your blind and low vision employees.
Some of the most popular types of assistive technology include:
- Digital recorders
- Screen reading software
- Refreshable braille displays
All of this assistive technology is fairly simple to integrate into the technology that your employees use day-to-day.
Flexible Schedule and Work From Home Allowance
One of the biggest challenges for people who are blind or have low vision is transportation. Some have a reliable way to work, while others rely on state programs or public transport. At times, this means that they will experience delays beyond their control. Providing flexibility and the ability to work from home for these employees will go a long way to building a good relationship and allowing them to do their job.
Getting Help with Accommodations for Blind and Low Vision Employees
At Applied Development, we have extensive experience helping organizations provide critical accommodations for blind and low vision employees. We can help you get set up quickly and give you the tools you need to create an inclusive environment. Give us a call at 410.571.4016 or contact us on the website.