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Re: Study Showing the Effect Accessibility Has on the Earning Levels of Blind People


From: JP Jamous
Date: Apr 25, 2018 5:34AM

Hi Brandon,

Thank you for this invaluable information. It did touch me as I was once down at the bottom of the poverty line. College was hard and my earnings did not reach $10,000 annually. I remember days where I had to live on a $1 bill for a month. I am not exaggerating at all.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case for me. Yet, the lack of desire of hiring a person with a blindness was a major factor during that period of time. Add on top of it the lack of a college degree and you get a mix of absolute denial by employers. That was one of the reasons why I started my own business back in 2004. Even with that, I had customers backing off once they learned that I had a sight impairment. Obviously that was not the case when I was fully sighted. It sounds funny, but I earned more money as a sighted kid helping my dad with construction work in a third world country. Yet, as a totally blind smart individual, I had a very difficult time finding work in the States, which is considered the most advanced country.

Again, I just wanted to share my first-hand experience to attest to the accuracy of this documentation. I still run into shows that set off money raising campaigns to raise money for non-profit organizations for people with disabilities around the world. They showcase individuals with disabilities that have different talents. Their talents put me to shame as they perform various types of shows that are mind blowing.

I recently heard of a female employee that was hired by a director who believed in employing people with disabilities. Yet, due to the inaccessible UI of the company's HR system, JAWS did her no good. A friend from HR reached out to me to find out how we can help her out.

That shows that even employers are between a rock and a hard spot as well. Some they want to do the right thing, but their applications have inaccessible UIs. They spend money on JAWS and other ATs to find out that they hit a dead-end.

My intention is not to put the blame on any party, rather to increase your cry for accessible UIs. I was playing around with .NET over the weekend and I created a fully accessible Windows app because of the Accessibility class in .NET that can be added to the form fields just by modifying some properties of each object. Personally, I don't see no reason of having an application being progressed to production without Inclusive Design in mind.

Again, thank you for sharing this great reference.

JP Jamous
Senior Digital Accessibility Engineer
E-Mail Me |Join My LinkedIn Network

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Brandon Keith Biggs
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:03 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] Study Showing the Effect Accessibility Has on the Earning Levels of Blind People


For people who want to show the effect accessibility has on blind users, a study was just released that showed if blind people had accessible tools for work, they produced 3 times as much output and earned 2.5 times as much money as their sighted counterparts.

There is a direct connection between accessibility in the workplace and the massive unemployment rate of blind people in the world.

Next time you go into a meeting with a work-related piece of software, you can point to this and say:

If our app is accessible, it will have a direct effect on raising 90% of the blind people in the world out of poverty.


This is an app that allows blind people to transcribe audio to create transcripts of recordings.

The UX could have been much better by having both an auto spelling corrector, and by allowing the blind users to edit words directly. But this just shows how much of an impact accessibility has on the poverty levels of blind people.

I can tell you that most software tools are still not accessible enough to work professionally on. Only Quickbooks and Cash Manager is accessible enough for bookkeepers and accountants to use out of the hundreds of business financial management tools.


Brandon Keith Biggs <http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/>;