A question we ask a lot is, why is blind employment important? Of course, we at IBVI know why, but this question helps us dive into the bigger conversation of why you or your company should consider employing those with sight loss. It doesn’t take a major overhaul either—with some modifications to work areas, you can easily add people who are blind or visually impaired to your team. They want to work—and with the right tools, training, and support, they are excellent employees—but don’t just take our word for it.
We sat down with three employees from our West Allis location who vary from being totally blind to having different types of visual impairment, and we asked them all the same two-part question: what would you tell someone who knows nothing about IBVI or other companies that employ people who are blind or visually impaired, and why is blind employment important? Here’s what they had to say.
There are many different resources for adaptive aids.
Cindy Alioto has been with IBVI for 12 years, currently holding two roles as our receptionist and customer service coordinator. Cindy was born sighted but is now totally blind and has adapted extraordinarily to the change; part of this is due to the many available assistive devices.
“I use a white cane to walk, I have a talking watch, I have a talking calculator, my phone talks to me—so these are just little adaptive aids that we need. There are many, many ways a person can work at a job with assistive aids. A person who is blind or visually impaired will give you 110% because they are proving to you they can do it. I think that’s the key. A blind or visually impaired person will give you their all—give us a chance.”
Employment provides financial and personal independence.
Production Manager, Jeana Angelini, has worked at IBVI for the past seven years. Part of her job is leading a team of individuals, and she takes pride in watching them excel at their work.
“I love to see them be happy with what they’re doing, and I like to see that personal satisfaction that they gain. We, as vision-impaired people, aim to do a better job; we strive to do our best. We may have to do it in a different way, but the important thing is we get the job done. In my book, blind employment is important for several reasons. Number one it gives us financial stability and independence. It gives us the independence to do what we want to do in our personal lives, and it gives you a personal sense of satisfaction to know you’re contributing.”
People who are blind or visually impaired want to work.
Jeff Spantikow has been with IBVI for over a decade. He works as a machine operator—working primarily on one of our top products, the SKILCRAFT pen.
“Blind employment is important because there is a large number of blind and visually impaired who are unemployed, but IBVI is pretty proactive about bringing in anybody who is qualified for the positions that we have. I know it’s kind of a cliche, but we are family. A lot of us are in the same boat with our visual issues, but still, with our sighted counterparts, we work very well together. It’s just like any other company.”
If you or your company is thinking about hiring someone who is blind or visually impaired, our employees say it best—give them a chance, and you will see the value they add to your team. To learn more about a career at IBVI, please visit our careers page.