Most employers in California and throughout the country are required to make reasonable accommodations for those with visual impairments. A visual impairment could be anything from having difficulty seeing during periods of low light to being declared legally blind. There are a number of ways in which companies can help individuals with visual impairments apply for a job or successfully perform their duties after being hired.
Make use of assistive technology
Those who have difficulty seeing may not be able to fill out a traditional job application. They may also struggle with tests that require them to read from a page or screen. Companies can make it easier for those individuals by giving them access to screen readers or other tools that allow them to process and convey information.
Allow service animals on the job
It’s not uncommon for people with visual impairments to use service animals to help guide them through various environments. It may be necessary to allow the use of a service animal as a reasonable accommodation even if animals wouldn’t normally be allowed at the office to avoid a disability discrimination claim. At a minimum, companies should consider allowing those with visual impairments to use canes or other tools even if they wouldn’t typically allow them on the job.
Consider flexible scheduling options
Employees who can’t see may not be able to drive, which means that they rely on friends, relatives or public transportation to get them where they need to go. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to provide someone with a visual impairment with a flexible schedule to take this into account. Alternatively, they may be allowed to work at home to avoid the need for a potentially unpredictable commute altogether.
If you feel as if you’ve been mistreated at work because of a visual impairment, you may have grounds for legal action. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may be possible to file a lawsuit directly or after filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.