Bosma Aims to Improve Employment Rates for Blind or Visually Impaired Hoosiers – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana employers looking to fill open positions are urged to consider blind or visually impaired Hoosiers. Bosma Enterprises partnered with a Carmel-based company to recruit more employees.

The unemployment rate for blind or visually impaired Hoosiers is just over 60%. Bosma representatives say they’ve taken a new approach to hiring, allowing their clients to become the interviewer in what they call a “reverse job fair.”

There is an independence you feel when you can work and support yourself. A growing number of blind or visually impaired Hoosiers are missing out on this opportunity.

“It’s not about what the person can’t do. Instead, the mindset should be what they can do or how could they do it,” said Kristy Russell, Head of Adult and Youth Employment Services at Bosma.

The company works directly with customers and other businesses to bring them together, while working to break the stigma around what someone with vision loss can do.

“What we find is that a lot of companies or HR professionals struggle to see how someone with vision loss can function in their current work environment,” she said.

One way to do this is to host a reverse job fair. Clients who are ready to work are seated and employers come to them. David Glenn, president and CEO of the Carmel-based company CoasterStone welcomed some new employees.

“I already know they’re visually impaired, which breaks the ice and they can just talk to me,” Glenn said.

Adaptations and assisted technology can help, but it’s often about understanding that the same job can be done in different ways.

Saying this is one way to change mindsets, not only at the top of a company, but also to have it trickle down to hiring managers.

“I urge small business owners (and) large business owners to say yes. Listen to the stories. See what they can do,” he said.

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