When people who are blind or partially sighted are looking for employment the question of when do I talk about my disability is always a question they have. I know I have always struggled with this myself.
If I put it on my application would they even call me ? If I didn’t tell them would that look bad on my part ? If I brought it up casually would they see me for my skills and abilities or just for my disability ? There were many years where I never disclosed my disability at all. I would just make the adaptions that i needed like making the font on my computer larger, hiding a magnifier in my desk and sitting really close to my computer screen. This was always something that I hated doing but it was also the only way that I could land a job. I am sure they noticed that I had a hard time seeing but never really knew the extent. Who was the one that suffered through that ? Me, I was the one that went home at the end of the day with major headaches and eyes that I could barely keep open.
Now that I am not able to hide my disability, as I have lost all of my vision, my job search keeps coming up empty. I have the same skills and abilities that I had before, yet people can not look past my disability and see what I could offer as an employee.
This has got my thinking, why is this ? People without disabilities do not have to go into a job interview wondering when they are going to disclose that they have diabetes, or that they are left handed. Why do people with disabilities need to prove that they are capable, and have to worry about people not seeing them for the skills that got them the interview in the first place. Lack of education on the part of the people who are hiring ? Ignorance or just plain old discrimination at it’s best ?
Equality in the workforce includes those with disabilities. People who have disabilities have a wide range of skills and abilities to offer just like the non-disabled community. You would never not hire someone because they were left handed and you could not imagine how they would use a computer mouse so why do you look at me and believe that I am not capable. I don’t judge you based on your suit or hair colour or they way you sit so I would appreciate it if you did not judge me on what you think I am capable of and give me the chance to show you how capable I truly am.
Until Next Time !
Ashley and Rick