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A Voice for Equality

Our vision is complete equality for people who are blind or visually impaired. For over a century, we have been vocal advocates for programs and policies that provide opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Today, we continue to advocate for funding, programs and policies that make a difference. We stay actively engaged with local, state and federal government officials, providing guidance and expertise. Our advocacy work is informed by decades of experience and a strong track record of results.

Reducing Unemployment

Our top priority is reducing the unemployment rate for people who are blind or visually impaired. The current rate of unemployment is a staggeringly high 70 percent. We advocate for programs, policies and initiatives that create job opportunities.

In particular, we are vocal supporters of the AbilityOne Program and advocate to create understanding and support for the program among Indiana’s representatives in Congress. This important Federal program sets aside specific government contracts for organizations that support people who are blind or visually impaired. AbilityOne makes it possible for us to provide much-needed jobs and fund essential services.


Fighting Stereotypes

People who are blind or visually impaired face negative misconceptions about their abilities in the workplace. According to a study from the National Industries for the Blind, 54 percent of hiring managers felt there were few jobs that could be done by a person who is blind – and accommodating a person with vision loss would require "considerable expense."

But the truth is just the opposite. People who are blind or visually impaired are highly capable, and there is often minimal expense to employers. We’re working to reverse stereotypes through outreach and education. We change the conversation from disability to ability by focusing on what people who are blind or visually impaired bring to the table. We meet regularly with businesses and community leaders to help them understand the benefits of hiring people who are blind or visually impaired.

Quick Stats

  • The unemployment rate among people who are blind or visually impaired is 70 percent.
  • There are currently 165,000 Hoosiers living with vision loss.
  • By 2030, the rate of blindness is estimated to double along with the country’s aging population.*

*Special Report on Aging and Vision Loss

Revamping Social Security Support

National Industries for the Blind (NIB) is working to protect and improve Social Security benefits for people who are disabled. One of the top issues is reforming Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in a way that incentivizes a return to work. Currently, a key rule of the SSDI program completely eliminates benefits when a person reaches a specific wage amount. This rule only applies to benefits for people who are disabled and is actually contrary to Social Security benefits for other segments of the population.

NIB is advocating for a rethink of this rule to ensure continued SSDI benefits for people who work – though at a reduced level that is proportional to their earnings. This incentive-driven model carries an important message that a person with a disability can return fully to the workforce, and it follows suit with the overall structure of Social Security program.