What is it like to interview a job candidate with blindness or visual impairment? Are there things you shouldn’t say? What kind of behavior is the candidate expecting from you?
Keep these points in mind during the interview, and remember — a person who is blind or visually impaired is, before anything else, a person.
- Don’t ask about the disability/diagnosis. Can you perform all the required job functions, tasks, and/or duties listed here, with or without accommodation? How would you perform the task(s) and with what accommodation(s)?
- Operate under the presumption that the visually impaired person can do the job until they prove otherwise.
- Create a welcoming environment for disclosure. State your company’s commitment to hiring people of all backgrounds and abilities during the interview process.
- Use people first language (blind person vs. a person who is blind or a person with a visual impairment)
- Always identify yourself and introduce who is present
- There is a wide range of visual impairments; some people may navigate using a cane or a dog, while others may have enough usable vision to navigate independently. Offer to give the candidate sighted guide (the person with a visual impairment will hold right above your elbow) and give verbal queues and directions.
So what can you do to attract more candidates with blindness or visual impairment to your search? Consider these interview tips for employers to expand a job posting’s reach.
Interview tips for employers
1. Look beyond employee referrals — referrals are a trusted source of candidates, but they may inhibit diversity.
2. State your commitment to inclusion on your company’s career website.
3. Work with local and state agencies to source candidates with disabilities.
4. Expand your job posting presence beyond the mainstream channels — try out a diversity-focused job board.
5. Loosen restrictions on your applicant tracking systems — are you screening out candidates for unnecessary qualifications like driver’s licenses?