Amazon to Make more Employment Opportunities Available to the Blind
Agreement with National Federation of the Blind to Make Jobs at Amazon Fulfillment Centers Accessible to Blind Workers
Baltimore, Maryland (March 25, 2021): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), America’s civil rights and membership organization of the blind, has reached an agreement with Amazon.com to expand employment opportunities for blind people at Amazon’s order fulfillment centers. This agreement arose from complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by five blind individuals who were hired at Amazon fulfillment centers but alleged they were not accommodated to do their jobs. As part of the agreement, Amazon has reinstated four blind individuals who had been terminated but who still wanted to work at its fulfillment centers, with their start dates backdated to their original hire dates. The agreement also provides that:
- Beginning in July 2021 and continuing through 2022, Amazon will rollout accessible technology and accommodations to make fulfillment center "job paths" accessible for blind employees. Amazon will consult with internal and external experts to determine what technology and accommodations are needed to make those job paths accessible for blind employees.
- Amazon will also work with the NFB to identify accessibility solutions and innovations for blind employees, including by providing a tour of a fulfillment center to allow the NFB's representatives to observe different types of job paths.
- Amazon will develop and, beginning in or around October 2021, provide online training to the hiring, human resources, operations, and safety management in all of its fulfillment centers regarding best practices on providing reasonable accommodations to blind employees.
- Amazon will work with the NFB and other interested organizations to plan and conduct outreach to the blind community to provide details of Amazon's accommodations processes and the new accessible technologies to assist blind employees in performing fulfillment center jobs.
“We are pleased that Amazon is committing to the steps needed to make employment opportunities at its fulfillment centers accessible to current and future blind workers,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “By using accessible technology and engaging blind employees in an interactive process, there is no reason Amazon cannot ensure that these demanding jobs can be performed by blind people. We hope to continue our work with Amazon so that the company becomes a leading twenty-first-century employer of the blind.”