Assessing your workforce for the issue of visual impairment can be tricky. It calls for a balanced approach to avoid the hidden risk of (or perception of) violating an employee’s right to personal privacy and respect. The method recommended is to make the environment safe for self-reporting. This has been done successfully in many organizations in their safety programs, in which self-reporting of safety incidents or near-misses not only is perceived as being without risk, it is rewarded. Once again, an open, inclusive environment is beneficial.

Each organization needs to evaluate what is appropriate for its workplace.

Questions Worth Considering

  • What do supervisors know about visual impairment so that if an employee were to self-report, the response would be appropriate?
  • What existing policies or procedures might guide action if the employee has self-reported or invited a discussion?
  • What existing policies or procedures might guide or preclude action if the employee has not self-disclosed or invited a discussion?
  • In the absence of guiding principles, what does the corporate culture encourage?
  • How might a supervisor express concern to an employee while avoiding unintended legal consequences?

For help, AFB has experience in partnering with corporations to create an environment where employees feel safe for self-reporting, and for assessing the workforce.