Much work to be done to remove employment barriers for New Brunswickers with vision loss

5/30/2014

​June marks the launch of Disability Awareness Week in New Brunswick, and our province is making great strides towards improving employment opportunities for persons living with disabilities.

The implementation of both the Disability Action Plan and Employment Action Plan for Persons with a Disability in New Brunswick will help to create a more level playing field for all New Brunswickers seeking work in our province.

That being said, there is much work to be done in removing employment barriers for persons with vision loss, including changing employer’s perceptions around the capabilities of New Brunswick workers, and Canadians in general, who are blind or partially sighted.

Only 32 per cent of working-age adults with blindness or partial sight are employed in Canada – and more than half of all adults with vision loss report gross annual incomes of $20,000 or less, regardless of marital or family status.

A CNIB study found that barriers experienced by employees with vision loss are more often attitudinal, as opposed to physical. About 27 per cent of working age adults with blindness or partial sight say their employers do not see their potential – and another 26 per cent feel employers are unwilling to hire someone with vision loss.

Yet, research shows that employees living with some form of a disability – including vision loss – rate average or better than their co-workers on job performance, attendance and workplace safety.

CNIB New Brunswick is proud to work alongside employers, employment agencies and post-secondary institutions to facilitate opportunities for people who are blind or partially sighted, including assessing work and education environments and recommending accommodations like screen reading and magnification software.

We empower individuals with vision loss and help them build the skills and training needed to seek their own employment opportunities – jobs and careers that play to their strengths, interests, skillset and level of education.

CNIB encourages all organizations to see beyond vision loss when looking for quality job candidates. The New Brunswick we envision for the future is completely barrier-free, with limitless opportunities and full equality for all citizens.

In recognition of Disability Awareness Week, we urge all employers to consider the benefits of hiring individuals with a disability, to eliminate discrimination and to become a leader in fostering a more inclusive New Brunswick…starting with their workplace.

Media Contact:

Nicole Lawrence
Communications Specialist, CNIB
(902) 453.1480, ext. 5721
nicole.lawrence@cnib.ca

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