The Department has helped businesses throughout Iowa hire and retain blind and visually impaired staff. Our services to employers include on-site training, follow-up, accommodations, and technology.
Consider Employing Blind and Visually Impaired Iowans
The Department asks that you consider hiring or retaining people who are qualified for positions you have. We’ll start by discussing how to fulfill your needs while offering fellow Iowans an opportunity to share their skills and talents with others.
With an 78 percent placement rate, Iowa ranks fourth in the nation in the percentage of blind and visually impaired people successfully placed, employed and remaining in jobs. A startling statistic? Not at all. Many of Iowa’s blind or visually impaired citizens work productively, live meaningfully and maintain their own households just like anyone else. Thousands do.
Our Services to Businesses
- Job Accommodation and Retention
From education and training to providing appropriate technology, we help make blind and visually impaired employees successful.
- Prescreened and Qualified Applicants
We identify qualified applicants to help you hire a diverse workforce.
- On-the-Job Training
The Department can provide customized training and other job-training services.
- Consultation, Technical Support and Employer Training
Staff will visit your worksite to provide technical support, training on working with blind and visually employees, and more.
The Department has worked with all types and sizes of Iowa businesses all across the state. Our customers represent an equally diverse group of professions and occupations including physicians, attorneys, teachers, drywallers, IT specialists and customer service reps to mention a few. Placement may start with a simple internship or the Department may be able to support on-the-job training for some businesses.
Read about our Success Stories and review some of the jobs held by Iowans who are blind or visually impaired.
Several financial incentives are available, including tax incentives, for hiring employees with a disability.
Considering Blind Job Candidates: Myths and Misperceptions
Learn about common misconceptions and frequently asked questions.
Other Disability Employment Resources
Learn about additional employment resources available to you, including assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Did you know...
- Most people with disabilities, including blindness and visual impairment, want to work.
- National studies show that individuals with disabilities have equal or higher job performance ratings, have higher retention rates and have lower absentee rates than employees without disabilities. (Unger, “Employer’s Attitudes,” 2002.)
- The safety record of both employees with disabilities compared to employees without disabilities is identical. (DuPont Survey, 1990.)
- Americans with disabilities have more than $175 billion in discretionary spending power. (N.O.D./Harris Survey, 2004.)
- The vast majority (92%) of the American public views companies that hire people with disabilities more favorably than those that do not, and 87% of the public also agrees they would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities. (A National Survey of Consumer Attitudes Towards Companies that Hire People with Disabilities, 2005.)
For More Information . . .
If you want more information about employing an Iowan who is blind or visually impaired, contact Brenda Criswell or David Lenz.
Brenda's Phone Number: (515) 281-1363 or (800) 362-2587, ext. 1363.
David's Phone Number: (515) 281-1287 or (800) 362-2587, ext. 1287.
David's Email: David.Lenz@blind.state.ia.us
If you have an accommodation question about an employee with a disability other than vision, contact the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) at the following numbers:
Local: (515) 281-4311
Toll-free: (800) 532-1486
Fax: (515) 281-4703
The Department for the Blind believes that with the right skills and opportunities a person who is blind or visually impaired can be a competitive and valuable employee!