Show and Tell: The Approach for Discussing Job Accommodations at an Interview When You’re Blind or Visually Impaired

man using a video magnifier to read text

I frequently hear about the valuable “show and tell” tactic in job interviews. It makes perfect sense. Why state you’re hardworking, a gifted problem solver, and a creative genius, when you can show the above by providing stories, examples, and a portfolio.

For instance, instead of simply stating, “I am a good leader,” you can show, or prove, you’re a good leader by describing a specific successful leadership opportunity, by presenting a leadership award you earned, or by displaying evidence of a group project you successfully oversaw. You can see “showing and telling” is effective, impactful, interesting, and memorable.

In my opinion, “show and tell” is the perfect tactic for discussing your necessary job accommodations and assistive technology. Here’s how it works:

  • Show the potential employer the assistive technology or a picture of the technology.
  • Concisely describe how the technology has enabled you, a person who is blind or visually impaired, to remove a barrier in order to accomplish high quality work. Of course, mention specific work tailored to the potential job tasks.
  • Show proof that your work is excellent.

The “show and tell” tactic used in this way (showing technology, telling its function in removing a barrier, telling the quality work it allows you to accomplish, and showing the work) achieves the following:

  • It’s a lead-in to revealing your high-quality work, talents, and job-related successes.
  • It demonstrates the purpose and necessity of a job accommodation or assistive technology.
  • It answers the questions the potential employer is wondering, “Can he perform the essential job functions without sight? How?”
  • It demonstrates you are a seasoned problem-solver.
  • It gives you a clear route to discussing your blindness or visual impairment.
  • The open, honest discussion of your job accommodations helps the potential employer get comfortable with the idea of hiring a person who is blind or visually impaired.
  • Your presentation is effective, impactful, interesting, and memorable.

Alright, now that you’re prepared to “show and tell” your way through your upcoming job interview, start preparing for those common interview questions.