The New York Times reported that many employers are skeptical about hiring legally blind workers, as they feel like visually-impaired employees are more inclined to be involved in workplace accidents and less reliable than other candidates for hire.
The Times story used statistics provided by the nonprofit National Industries for the Blind (NIB) for their story. The nonprofit polled 400 human resources and hiring managers at various U.S. companies and found that:
- Most respondents (54 percent) felt there were few jobs at their company that blind employees could perform, and 45 percent said accommodating such workers would require “considerable expense.”
- Forty-two percent of hiring managers believe blind employees need someone to assist them on the job; 34 percent said blind workers are more likely to have work-related accidents.
- One-quarter of respondents said blind employees are “more sensitive” than other employees; the same percentage said they were “more difficult to supervise.”
- Twenty-three percent of hiring managers said blind employees are not as productive as their colleagues are and 19 percent believe these employees have a higher absentee rate. (From the New York Times)
NIB reported that 70 percent of an estimated 3.5 million blind Americans are unemployed.
SSDI and Blindness
It should be noted that legally blind Americans are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. There is criteria that is used when the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers someone legally blind, including whether his or her vision is 20/200 or worse. There are also eligibility considerations made based on whether or not a person’s vision problems affect both eyes and whether his or her impairment can be corrected or improved.
We suggest contacting a Tulsa Social Security Disability attorney if you have questions about collecting SSDI, as there are very specific qualifications when it comes to eligibility. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404. Contact us today.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers