Why Employees Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Should Be Career Mentors

Two men, one older and one younger, work together at a desk.

I am convinced it would be enormously beneficial to you (and all recipients) if you who are blind or visually impaired and successfully employed (or retired) would volunteer as career mentors. [Please note, if you have not been successfully employed, you can mentor or influence others in your areas of strength.]

The personal benefits received from career mentoring include accountability, leadership skill acquisition, personal reflection, personal satisfaction, and creating a legacy.

There are, of course, multiple benefits to the recipients of your career mentorship. I will highlight three.

The first glaringly obvious benefit is the impact you can have on all recipients with your story of resilience. You can lead by example and discuss how to problem solve through various obstacles. As you have utilized accommodations to work around vision loss, every type of worker must learn to process and prevail over encountered stumbling blocks.

The second benefit is the impact you can have on recipients who are blind or visually impaired, who are not yet successfully employed. Many have questions; many have concerns; many need insight; many need guidance; many desire feedback and constructive criticism. You have been there and can act as a guide, sharing the route you chose and the missteps along the way.

The third benefit to your recipients is the spotlight you can shine on excellence in the workplace, regardless of a disability. You may be inclined to do a great job at work, and intentionally avoid the extra attention, effort, or time mentorship can take. However, on behalf of people who are blind or visually impaired, and workers who have any type of disability, let’s show the world that people with disabilities can be exceptional employees and leaders, loyal laborers, and outstanding team players. Let’s show them that people with disabilities are in fact more similar to their peers than different.

Mentor an eager-to-learn individual in your workplace; share what it’s really like to work in your career field to a group of students at a local university; and mentor individuals who are blind or visually impaired online at CareerConnect.