Let’s Get To Work! Podcast
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In 1928, a young blind man named Morris Frank made his way across the Atlantic Ocean to work with Dorothy Harrison Eustis at her school in Switzerland where she was training dogs to help soldiers blinded in the war. The owners of the ship were not comfortable with a blind person traveling alone, so they made him travel as cargo. Staff on the ship escorted him around the dock once per day for exercise, and other than that, he remained in isolation.
This is not a promotional blog about guide dogs, nor is it a patriotic political statement about our guide dog school of choice. As members of the American Council of the Blind’s Employment Committee, we start this write-up with this anecdote because as we introduce Let’s Get to Work, a podcast celebrating success, and it is humbling to recognize the current of stigma that has pulled against us for centuries.
We visually-impaired people feel this stigma when people avoid us, talk about us in hushed voices, call us “inspirational” simply for breathing, or when we are overqualified for jobs we can’t seem to reach. This is the stigma, and it is real. But fortunately, and resoundingly, the stigma is not the end of the story! In 1929, Mr. Frank partnered with Ms. Eustis to co-found the Seeing Eye. Like Morris Frank, we find unique solutions, we overcome challenges, and we succeed. We are bankers. We are healthcare workers. We are scientists and chefs, coaches and athletes, childcare workers and lawyers. We are creative, determined, and resilient, and we find strength in numbers. We serve as role models and mentors. We share our stories to motivate, inspire, and support each other to create these solutions.
This journey continues. As the ACB Employment Committee moves forward, we have observed a critical missing link available to many in other underrepresented groups but largely missing in the visually-impaired community: stories of blind people who have carved out successful paths in careers ranging from forensic psychology and financial analyst to daycare provider and 911 operator. Our podcast Let’s Get to Work features two interviews per month of people who are employed in careers that many find it hard to believe that blind people can navigate successfully. We believe that these podcasts augment our mission: to increase access to work opportunities through providing resources and skill-building sessions for visually-impaired people, professionals serving us, and employers.
Please enjoy these interviews of blind and visually impaired men and women from all walks of life as they share their journeys, offer advice, and walk alongside us as we carve a path against the stigma that makes it harder for us to get to work. We encourage you to share these stories widely, and welcome reactions and suggestions, which can be emailed to email@example.com
Let’s get to work!