Creating new opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired is central to AFB’s employment strategy. That’s why AFB is launching employment summits across the country to bring together business leaders and rehabilitation professionals to develop initiatives to foster collaboration, maximize collective impact and track outcomes for increasing employment rates.

Each summit will convene leaders from the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors who focus on diversity and inclusion, job readiness, accommodations, and employment policy. The goal is to generate open dialogue about the needs of employers and people who are blind or visually impaired, to create solutions and forge meaningful partnerships that lead to sustainable employment opportunities.

During the summits, attendees will hear from rehabilitation experts and people who are blind or visually impaired, to improve employer knowledge about the needs and challenges of people who are blind or visually impaired — and the talents they can contribute to the workplace culture and the bottom line. This includes not only people born without sight, but also people who lose their vision as they age, and can continue to be valuable members of the workforce with the necessary accommodations.

Summits will include discussions of hiring, retention and upward mobility of people who are visually impaired. Each summit will conclude with the creation of plans that lead to measurable outcomes — specifically increasing employment rates among people who are blind or visually impaired and advancing the careers of those who are already employed.

By building alliances with employers, AFB intends to foster long-term relationships that benefit both businesses and job-seekers who are blind or visually impaired. In the future, AFB hopes to use these relationships to conduct research on the results, which can strengthen its efforts to advance public policy regarding employment.