Losing Vision Doesn’t Mean Job Loss, there is Help Available
When someone is losing vision for the first time or losing additional vision due to a progressive condition and finding the function of how they do their work is changing, it is essential to understand there is help available.
A trained Vocational Rehabilitation Professional can provide:
- recommendations on assistive technology that will help the employee in their job
- how the technology interfaces and works within time, environmental and workflow demands
- the cost effectiveness of one accommodation over another.
These specialists are trained professionals in examining the holistic need of the employee. They can recommend which options work best to promote task efficiency, effectiveness, and full access to the accommodations.
Employees who are assisted by knowledgeable Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals tend to experience less stress associated with their jobs and concern about workplace efficiency. These experts help with the transition of all that impacts the employee, making it easier to remain successfully employed.
Through an on-site evaluation, task analysis, and assessment of an employee’s needs, the rehabilitation professional can work with the employee and employer as a resource in determining low and high-tech recommendations, software, and hardware.
As the pandemic recedes, the return to in-person work may represent a challenge for individuals with disabilities, particularly those who have been able to work remotely. While working remotely can be considered a reasonable accommodation, employers should take this opportunity to assess each individual’s request and explore the options to ensure that they and their employees can make a smooth transition back to the workplace.
Lighthouse Guild recommends that employers go through an interactive process with the employee to analyze the job requirements, identify the restraints involved with their disability, and determine suitable accommodations.
Retaining Qualified Employees is Good Business Practice
Retaining an employee who has become blind or visually impaired saves money as the employee is still a qualified asset to the company. The loss of expertise and experience of such employees impacts the bottom line and costs in terms of institutional knowledge and the value of work.
People who are blind or have low vision face many challenges in retaining employment. However, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) has refocused vocational rehabilitation efforts toward job retention and career advancement among people with disabilities.
Lighthouse Guild’s Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals work with employers to help them integrate and accommodate people with vision impairment into their workforce.