How Can We Ever Win?

I was reading a resource for blind job seekers. One advice given was to have a reader if the job application is inaccessible.

Excuse me? This is problematic on so many levels it’s appalling.

1: This attitude excuses the employer for having an inaccessible job application. Nothing excuses this. Job applications should be accessible to anyone. If it is inaccessible, the employer may as well have a sign that says, NO BLIND PEOPLE NEED APPLY

2: Expecting everyone to have a reader to fill out a form that is inaccessible is ridiculous. Not everyone has such a person around. I don’t. I especially didn’t during the pandemic. I have a virtual assistant that can help me with some things, and sometimes job applications are timely and she isn’t available because she has a job that pays better than I can so is a priority.

3: Not everyone can afford a reader to help fill out forms. Volunteers, you say. Sure. Try to find one. I have had volunteers sporadically over the years, and they’re not easy to come by. I never found one here. And again, we must consider that timeliness. And what about confidentiality? Do I want to give a
near stranger personal data about myself? Uh, no.

Somewhere along the way, people have gotten the idea that blind people all have someone who comes in and takes care of us. People think someone cooks for me (I wish), drives me where I need to go, and reads my mail. People with other disabilities get services paid by the state or other agencies such as
home health aides to help with household tasks not possible due to a physical disability. Deaf people have interpreters paid for when needed. But blind people get no kind of service provided for us for reading or anything else that requires sight such as filling out inaccessible forms. Why?

Because the forms shouldn’t be inaccessible. Yet agencies that should be advocating for accessibility in job applications are saying, “Get someone to do it for you.”

What I think of this I will put politely in two words:

Bovine feces!

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