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Disability: Part of the Equity Equation

"Disability Is Diversity" is white text on a black background.

Disability: Part of the Equity Equation

Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to dance. Equity is allowing you to choose the music.

~Cynthia Almedo
Colleen Connor, a blind voice over artist and audio description professional has pink hair and is speaking into a mic with a pop filter.
Colleen Connor

“Disability: Part of the Equity Equation” is the 2022 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is observed annually in October in the United States. NDEAM recognizes and celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices. 

Statistics vary on the employment rate of people who are blind/low vision. We all recognize that finding work as a person who is blind can be a significant challenge. I know people who are blind working across many sectors and in many positions. The major challenge I have experienced and heard others express as a difficulty, is getting the accommodations needed to work effectively and efficiently. But, we find a way and succeed. Awareness of the capabilities of those of us who are blind is really important. It is up to each of us to help increase awareness of the fact that we are highly skilled, capable and smart people who given the opportunity or an equal opportunity, can do almost any job.

I have been employed full-time for over 27 years. I have had a wonderful career in the blindness field, helping people of all ages learn to live and work with vision loss. It’s been an amazing experience working with people as they adapt to vision loss and build their skills and confidence and then find their amazing potential. Each time a new person with vision impairment learns their value and becomes a self-advocate, they also join us in creating awareness of the capabilities of people with disabilities.

If given an equal opportunity… those of us with disabilities will shine! I want to choose the music, and I know that my peers who are blind want an equal opportunity to choose the music too, which only means we get an equal opportunity to demonstrate our ability with everyone recognizing us as equals!

Make the most of NDEAM this month and share with your networks, including your family, friends, coworkers, local civic organizations and on your social media platforms, about your ability. Use this month to promote the abilities of people who are blind or low vision. Share how we do our work. Ask your audiences to be more inclusive of us, to recognize us as equals.

To learn more about NDEAM and how you can get more involved visit:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/initiatives/ndeam

Share with us at Bold Blind Beauty what you are doing this month to create awareness.

By Sylvia Stinson-Perez

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Connecting With Bold Blind Beauty

Author Bio:

The author’s bio photo is a glam photo of Sylvia in a pink dress with spaghetti straps. Her hair is in a fancy updo with a pink flower on the left of her bun.
Sylvia Stinson-Perez

Sylvia Stinson-Perez has spent her career in the blindness field, and is the Chief Programs Officer for the American Foundation for the Blind. Sylvia believes the authentic shared experience of living with vision loss can lead to the development of bold confidence in living with blindness. She loves helping others find their beauty and courage on this journey.

Sylvia has Master’s degrees in Social Work, Visual Disabilities Rehabilitation, and Business Administration. Sylvia is blind as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), however, she believes that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Sylvia is a wife, a mother, a friend, an advocate, and a professional dedicated to making a positive difference. She enjoys reading, cooking, travel, crocheting, writing and public speaking, and time with loved ones.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header image: “Disability Is Diversity” is white text on a black background.
  • Colleen Connor, an entrepreneur, blind voice over artist, and audio description professional has pink hair and is speaking into a mic with a pop filter. Collen has been featured on Bold Blind Beauty as a Woman On The Move.
  • The author’s bio photo is a glam photo of Sylvia in a pink dress with spaghetti straps. Her hair is in a fancy updo with a pink flower on the left of her bun.
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