Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Going Beyond Sight to Insight

Danny Novielli received a 4.0 at Middle Tennessee State but was not able to get a job because of blindness. With the help of a two-year intensive program, referred to as a "boot camp", run by the National Institute for the Blind, Mr. Novielli is now the business development manager of a business which is oriented toward the blind and makes gloves for the VA. His is hardly a unique story; only 30% of the blind have jobs and rarely until very recently have blind people reached management level. Two other people, David Geary and Sharon Giovinazzo, were also cited as attending the program. Geary entered the program even though he once was an assistant district attorney and Ms. Giovinazzo went from being a seamstress to working in consumer relations for a government agency.

About 20 years ago, during my doctoral program, I did research on deafness and why there was no tax incentive for deaf taxpayers versus the then-exemption for the blind. I was surprised to learn that the mid-80s income disparity between hearing-capable and hearing-impaired Americans was considerably greater than the disparities between white and black or between men and women. Even with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this article appears to indicate that blind Americans (and probably deaf as well) still have a long way to go to catch up in the job market. Bravo to the NIB for their training program and congratulations to Mr. Novielli and Ms. Giovinazzo on their new jobs!


Post a Comment

<< Home

My blog is worth $7,903.56.
How much is your blog worth?