Legal blindness needs not be a career-ending injury. The need for making adjustments at work may seem like an overwhelming proposition, but plenty succeed while building the skills to continue working to a retirement of their own designation. On the other hand, giving up on a job prematurely is often regrettable. Before you start thinking about leaving a job, think about staying. No one can communicate your specific needs better than you can. Advocating for yourself and finding solutions is the foundation on which you will succeed. Smaller incremental changes are more sustainable than big sweeping changes, so get started early and don’t delay in adapting.
Change Your Mindset
Focus on abilities, not disability. You are an asset, not a liability. You have demonstrated the experience and qualifications to perform the job well and will continue to do that successfully by keeping an open mind to making adjustments at work. Don’t hide your efforts, be open to inspire and educate your colleagues.
Make a Friend in IT
Making your computer at work easier to use is all about accessibility settings and that will require a good IT specialist. The right computer adjustments can go a long way in compensating your visual impairment. There may be a member of the IT team well versed in the needed adjustments, or you can work with them to consult a specialist at Microsoft Disability Answer Desk at: 800-936-5900
Talk to Your Supervisor or HR
An open dialog is always best; attempts to hide changes in vision usually work against you. It is in the employer’s best interest that you get the support you need to succeed. Be prepared to talk about the specific ways your employer can help to accommodate your needs.
Get a Low Vision Evaluation
Consult with a low vision specialist about your changing needs at work and where you need help. They can suggest and demonstrate optical and electronic magnification devices and special lighting.
Consult a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Contact your State Rehab Agency for the Blind or Visually Impaired to learn more about services that can help with technology training and safe travel.
Listen to Hadley Presents Podcast
Listen to this conversation with the experts to learn about Hadley’s Working with Vision Loss workshops and great advice for finding resources and how to ask for what you need.