Thank you for your interest in joining the National Federation of the Blind Dream Builders Capital Campaign. As you know, we have several important projects on the horizon. We want to share details of this project with you personally.
What’s at Stake
Too often, employers fail to recruit and hire blind people due to an implicit bias. This unintentional discrimination contributes to the 70 percent unemployment/underemployment rate among blind Americans. Some employers are working to address this, but they are not partnering with the nation’s blind. With a genuine understanding of authentic experiences of blind people, their initiatives could substantively and systemically influence their hiring practices and work environment.
How the NFB Employer Leadership Network Will Help
- The NFB Employer Leadership Network will develop strategic alliances with employers who are committed to creating a modern-day workforce that integrates blind people into all aspects of the work environment.
- The NFB Employer Leadership Network will engage employers to actively participate in a professional network that provides them with best practices for recruiting, training, hiring, and promoting blind staff members.
- The NFB Employer Leadership Network will develop fellowship programs that are mutually beneficial to the job seeker and the employer, and also offer assistance in making accommodations and increasing accessibility in the workplace.
Building the Program
The NFB Employer Leadership Network will provide employers with:
- Education about the skills and abilities of blind people.
- A safe space to discuss stereotypes and misconceptions about hiring the blind.
- Assistance in determining how jobs in their workplaces can be made accessible for blind employees.
- Access to and training about the use of specialized technology for potential employees.
- Workshops and seminars designed to teach best practices for recruiting, hiring, and training blind employees. Workshops will be hosted at the NFB Jernigan Institute and at regularly scheduled NFB conferences. We will also seek to partner with other organizations who host conferences related to employment.
- A pool of well-trained, qualified applicants who are blind. Blind job seekers will be encouraged to apply using mainstream platforms that are accessible, and our employment partners will be encouraged to hire utilizing those accessible platforms.
- A network of employers and blind mentors who will work together to help alleviate the problem of high unemployment among the blind by developing a strategic plan for integrating the blind into their workplaces.
Evaluating the Program
The National Federation of the Blind will:
- Track the number of participating employers.
- Survey employers to determine what factors contribute to their participation.
- Track the number of fellowships and job placements that result from our interaction.
Resources and Personnel Needed
- Program Manager (likely the director of the CEO)
- Support Staff
Why the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind’s philosophy on blindness and our belief in the capacity of blind people create opportunities that otherwise would not exist. Our knowledge regarding accessibility will provide employers with a critical link to better employment practices. Our members will share their experiences and advice.