In today’s digital age, accessibility is a fundamental aspect of creating inclusive environments. The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. is leading the way in promoting accessibility through our dedicated Accessibility Program.
A Holistic Approach to Accessibility:
The Accessibility Program takes a holistic approach to ensure that employees who are blind, DeafBlind, or blind with other disabilities have equal access to employment, education, technology, and community resources. By addressing the diverse needs of individuals, the Accessibility Program aims to break down barriers and empower employees to live independent and fulfilling lives.
Supporting Employees with Disabilities:
The Lighthouse offers a range of programs and services to support employees, including orientation and mobility training, computer and technology training, braille literacy programs, supported employment initiatives, interpreting services, low vision services, and webinars on accessibility tools and technology. Accessibility and accommodations are fundamental values of the Lighthouse. New hires are connected with the accessibility program immediately to ensure a smooth transition into the workplace. Learn more about the programs and services the Lighthouse offers >>
Privacy and Workplace Accommodations:
The Lighthouse recognizes the importance of privacy when it comes to accommodations. Employees are given the opportunity to discuss their needs with the accommodations department without disclosing their disabilities to the entire organization. The accommodations department works closely with supervisors to understand the essential requirements of each role while respecting the employee’s privacy regarding specific disability details.
The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. takes a proactive approach to accessibility by incorporating it as a core requirement in new systems, software, tools, and physical spaces. We collaborate with various stakeholders, including operations and IT, to ensure accessibility is considered from the outset. Building lasting vendor partnerships is a priority, and we seek vendors who actively support our accessibility goals. In cases where off-the-shelf solutions are not available, the organization’s Innovation Lab utilizes 3D printers and customized hardware devices to develop unique accessibility solutions. Learn about custom accommodations at the Lighthouse >>
The accommodations process at the Lighthouse prioritize efficiency. Efforts are made to implement off-the-shelf accommodations before an employee’s first day, while custom accommodations or modifications may require additional time. We value building rapport and trust with employees and conduct training sessions to inform them about available accommodations and our commitment to accessibility.
To address organization-wide accessibility challenges, the Lighthouse encourages collaboration through employee-level accessibility committees and management meetings. Monthly employee accessibility committee meetings provide a platform for employees to discuss challenges, propose solutions, and work on specific projects. The organization’s Management Committee on Accessibility and Training (MCAT) meets quarterly to plan for future accessibility needs and address ongoing projects.
The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. is at the forefront of creating inclusive environments and empowering individuals with disabilities. Through proactive accessibility measures, timely accommodations, and comprehensive training programs, the organization demonstrates its commitment to ensuring equal access and opportunities for individuals with visual impairments. By fostering a culture of accessibility and collaboration, the Lighthouse sets an example for promoting inclusivity in workplaces and the communities in which we serve.