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Updated Resource Provides Guidance About Individuals with Visual Disabilities at Work

Visual Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an updated “technical assistance document,” explains how the ADA applies to applicants for jobs and employees with visual disabilities. Released by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on July 26, 2023, the 33rd anniversary of the passage of the ADA, the document provides guidance to employers related to hiring, onboarding, and the ongoing workplace experience. Items covered include when an employer may ask a job applicant or employee about their vision, how employers should handle voluntary disclosures about vision impairment, and what types of reasonable accommodations employees with visual disabilities may need at work. This document also highlights new technologies for accommodations, including many available free of charge or for a low cost. The impact of using artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms on applicants with vision impairment in employment decisions is covered as well. Other sections address handling safety concerns about employees with visual disabilities and “how an employer can ensure that no employee is harassed because of a visual disability.” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows explained that “’Providing reasonable accommodations is an employer’s responsibility. Workers who have vision impairments, including limited or low vision, should be provided with the resources needed to succeed. This document will provide employers the guidance to do so.’” More details can be found in the EEOC press release announcing the issuing of the Updated EEOC Resource About the ADA and Individuals with Visual Disabilities at Work. In addition to comprehensive guidance about accommodations and safety, the full technical assistance document includes background and explanations about vision impairments, who is protected under the ADA, and how to obtain, use, and disclose medical information. Visit the EEOC webpage here to read the full document on Visual Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.