“The biggest challenge is working with individuals that have those misconceptions and stereotypes that have existed for many, many years,” according to Everette Bacon, vice president of blindness initiatives, Aira and secretary, National Federation of the Blind.
He says it’s important to “help people understand that blind people do exactly the same things that anyone else does. We just might do it in alternative way or a different way.”
WorkingNation sat down with Bacon at the 2023 Disability:IN Conference in Orlando.
Aira provides visual interpretation through a smartphone camera for individuals who are blind or low vision.
“There are so many barriers in the workplace, especially when it comes to access,” says Bacon. “If you think about trying to figure out a new area where you’re working, learning an office setting, learning where the break rooms are, where things are that you need to access every day.”
He adds, “Getting information off of your computer. Sometimes your technology may not work exactly right. Visual interpreting can be such a valuable tool to help you maintain access and maintain independence.”
Bacon says employers may not be aware of the accommodations that people with disabilities need. “You need individuals that work for a company to understand how to find accommodations and where to get them. We have to be self-starters. We have to know what we need. We have to know how to ask for it.”