A recent blog on the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) website, extracted from the NFB 2013 Annual Report, discusses fair wages and equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the workforce. The blog underlines efforts of the NFB to work for equality and full participation of blind people in every aspect of society, including employment. It further comments on various barriers faced by individuals with disabilities when obtaining adequate employment; including unfair wages and lack of awareness of assistive technology which leads to low expectations and negative attitudes. In closing, the blog addresses the need to end subminimum wages and correct this injustice.
The National Federation of the Blind is, at its core, a grassroots civil rights movement consisting of blind people, our family members, and friends. Our movement is founded on the principles of equality and full participation of blind people in every aspect of society. Although we have made significant strides toward achieving equality of opportunity, many barriers to our full participation as American citizens continue to exist. Most notable are the barriers that blind people face in our efforts to obtain competitive, integrated employment. Although laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in employment are in place, ignorance about the true employment capacity of the blind, lack of awareness about assistive work technologies among employers, the deficiency of proper educational and training opportunities for blind workers, and the overwhelmingly low vocational expectations for the blind held by society all contribute to an unemployment rate of over 70 percent for working age blind adults. Members of the NFB accept the responsibility and welcome the opportunity to play a part in developing strategies to address all of these issues effectively, but our ability to be successful is significantly hindered when we are denied the same fundamental rights as every other American citizen.
You can read the full blog on the NFB website by selecting the link below.