Q: If I hire a blind person will my insurance go up?
A: Insurance rates do not go up when you hire a person with a disability. Statistics show that blind/visually impaired workers do not have a higher accident rate than the general population. Most studies show that they have fewer accidents on the job.
Q: How would I correct or discipline a blind person?
A: The blind/visually impaired hope to be held to the same standards as their co-workers. They do not expect special treatment and the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t make protection for it either. If accommodations have been met and an employee with a disability is not performing up to standards, employers are within their rights to treat that employee as they would any other.
Q: Our industry is dangerous. How could we hire a blind person?
A: Most blind/visually impaired workers receive appropriate training to live, travel and work safely and independently. There are alternative techniques that make it possible for the blind/visually impaired to do things most people use sight to accomplish. They may use a white cane or have a guide dog.
Q: Would a blind person use more sick leave or flex time?
A: Statistics show that the blind/visually impaired appear to take less time off than their sighted co-workers. Depending on travel accommodations/schedules, they may need more flex time, but no more than provided to other employees for the same reasons.
Q: What if I don’t have an opening right now?
A: The Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t require employers create new jobs or adjust existing jobs to accommodate workers with a disability. Chances are there are several jobs within a company that a blind person can do with minimal accommodations. A blind person may accomplish the same job as a sighted person; they just go about it in different ways.
Q: How will the blind person find their workstation, bathroom, or other places at the job site?
A: The blind/visually impaired have been trained to live, travel and work independently. During an introductory tour of the workplace, guides should give clear, non-visually oriented directions.
Q: Could a blind employee keep up with the workload demands?
A: With a few simple accommodations, the blind/visually impaired can accomplish many things their co-workers use sight for. They usually undergo training to make them ready for the workplace. Employers with concerns can give the blind/visually impaired applicant an internship position to experience how they work and fit in the workplace.