Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't Write Off Workers Who Lose Their Vision

by Donna J. Jodhan

Over the years, I have run into several persons who have had the misfortune to have lost their vision while on the job. Ranging from anything to an injury on the job to being afflicted with a disabling disease that has lead to blindness, it continues to be a challenge when it comes to companies being able to deal with an employee who has lost their vision while on the job.

There is no doubt that when such an occurrence takes place, it is extremely traumatic for everyone; for the employer who now has to adjust to someone who has lost their vision, the employee who now has to learn how to cope both on the job and at home and otherwise, and let us not forget the coworkers. In short, a huge change for everyone involved; a world come crashing down. However, all should never be considered as lost! That is, if things are handled in an orderly manner.

It may come down to this: Employers, employees, and management undergoing a period of training that includes such things as: A change or adjustment in attitude, an orientation to the world of blindness to include everyone involved, and a willingness on everyone's part to work together to accomplish common objectives.

It is not going to be easy but it can all be accomplished given lots of patience along with innovation and imagination. The evolution of technology has made it possible for workers who have lost their vision on the job to be retrained. In certain circumstances they may not be able to assume jobs that they held prior to their loss of vision, and the options and choices opened to them may not be as wide as when they were fully sighted but in today's world it is becoming easier to make adjustments.

More patience, more creativity, and more compassion and objectivity are what we need. True it is that it may be easier for companies to just place their newly blinded employees on long term disability but a compelling argument to this may be that in doing so, companies may just be depriving themselves of workers who are more than determined to perform and do it over and above the call of duty.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and tell the world that yes indeed! Blind persons can certainly enjoy things by using their sense of touch. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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