Services for Employers

Make State Services for the Blind (SSB) your first call and shorten the time it takes to find and hire employees. We can match your workforce needs with qualified graduates from our program and screen candidates at your work site or ours.

We can also help you avoid the high cost of employee turnover and training by assisting you in retaining long-time, well trained staff that may be experiencing vision loss.

SSB is a tremendous resource for employers. We recognize that each business is a unique organization with unique needs.

SSB serves individuals with vision impairments through a publicly-funded vocational rehabilitation program. Using SSB's placement services doesn't cost you anything. SSB is prepaid by your tax dollars. There are no costs to the employer in partnering with us.

Why Hire SSB Applicants?

Building an inclusive workforce is an important piece of an organization's overall well being. Not only does it show your commitment to being an engaged corporate citizen, but it will likely open up your business to new and undiscovered markets and customers.

Individuals with disabilities bring solid skills, unique perspectives and a variety of experiences to the workplace. SSB offers these tools to help your business: Pre-employment services - connecting future employees with companies through internships, mentoring opportunities and training that is customized to the business need or delivered on-the-job.

  • Referral of prescreened, qualified applicants. Diversity Recruitment - Qualified Candidate Resume Booklet. [Word version]
  • Staff training on disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other employment laws as well as topics related to disabilities and assistive technology in the workplace.
  • Diversity program strategies that support the inclusion of people with disabilities as customers and employees.
  • Consulting, technical assistance and support.
    a. Workplace accommodations and assistive technology.
    b. Labor relations, legal, and compliance issues.
    c. Information technology and the accessibility of internal or external sites, computer hardware and software.
    d. Accessibility related to contract management and facilities.
    e. Marketing and customer service to improve services and/or increase the market share of people with disabilities.
  • Financial supports including access to tax credits and/or deductions available for hiring or accommodating people with disabilities. Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
  • Develop internships, mentoring opportunities, work experiences and training customized to the business need

According to a 2010 study completed by C. Ford Runge, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Applied Economics and Law at the University of Minnesota, 90 percent of qualified individuals with disabilities score as well or better than average employees in job performance. Hiring an individual with a disability creates up to a 3:1 return on investment.

For More Information 
Contact Dave Smith at 651-643-3413 or email david.g.smith@state.mn.us


Retain Employees

You may not be aware of just how prevalent vision loss is among your workforce, but you are no doubt aware of how much it costs to hire and train new employees. At SSB, we can offer a range of services that can help you keep high quality employees, usually through simple, inexpensive and straightforward accommodations. SSB can:

  • Provide no-cost job site analysis, which can help identify options for accommodations.
  • Provide valuable information to help employers understand the requirements specified under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Provide training resources on assistive technology for the employer and employee.
  • Provide "lunch and learn" sessions to help organizations understand the elements of working with individuals who are visually impaired.

Employee turnover and training are costly. Our no-cost job site analysis and retention services translate to real money. If a valued employee is struggling with their job performance due to vision loss, we can help.

For More Information
Contact Dave Smith at 651-643-3413 or email david.g.smith@state.mn.us

Myths

It's hard to imagine how a person who is blind could do a job that a person who is sighted could do.

Individuals with a vision loss are as competent and capable as the general public. Through the use of speech output, screen enlargement technology and alternative methods of performing daily activities, an individual is just like you, only with a different method.

An applicant with a vision loss applied for a job and I don’t know what to do?
If the individual meets the minimum qualifications for the job, treat them as the rest of your candidate pool with the same qualifications. If you have questions on the interview process or how to accommodate someone, give us a call and we can help. Tips for Interviewing a person who is blind.

Hiring someone with a vision impairment is going to cost more than hiring someone who is sighted.
Because individuals with disabilities have a lower turn-over rate and are typically high performers, you will be saving money by tapping into this pool of applicants.

Hiring someone with a vision loss or other disability is going to make my worker’s comp insurance premiums rise.
Actually, worker’s comp insurance is based on the actual jobs that employees are performing and not on the individual employees that are working for you.

For More Information
Contact Dave Smith at 651-643-3413 or email david.g.smith@state.mn.us

Technology to Assist You

Web Site Accessibility Consultation and Services
Just like the rest of the world, people who are blind and visually impaired use the Internet, going online for commerce, research, formal education, business, social interaction and entertainment .

While many web sites work well with the assistive technology used by blind or visually impaired people, some do not.

Many web masters or web developers at businesses -- especially those with online retail presences -- are unaware of accessibility problems or do not know where to turn for professional advice once problems are brought to their attention.

We can perform a quick analysis of web sites owned by Minnesota companies and organizations, provide a general assessment of a site's accessibility, and make basic recommendations for improvement and compliance with current standards.

For more information, contact David Andrews at 651-642-0513 or email David.B.Andrews@state.mn.us .