Empowering the Visually Impaired – A Special Initiative

As Emiratisation in Public and Private sectors continually receive the much needed boost by the UAE government, Healthsoft has found that there is one sector of Emiratis, with an unemployment rate exceeding 80%, which is rarely ever tapped by businesses across the UAE.

These are the thousands of sightless or visually impaired Emiratis who despite possessing desirable skills face difficulty acquiring gainful employment. This is, in spite of the availability of constantly evolving technology that has since long opened a window of opportunity for the visually impaired.

Technology has given us ‘Screen readers’, which read everything, voice recognition & computerized tape recorders that enable the user to speed-read by ear, etc. These have exponentially increased the potential for independent reading and writing by the blind, who, now no longer have to depend on someone to translate printed information. Once trained, evolving technologies have made visually impaired individuals highly successful in areas of Medical transcription, computer programming, data entry, customer service and receptionists, to name a few.

Mr. KC Anand (CEO, Healthsoft) has pioneered an initiative to train and employ the visually impaired in the medical documentation industry. The Government of India has recognized his initiative and honoured him with the “Friends of the Blind Award” for three consecutive years. Based on his personal experiences, Mr. Anand, reaffirms that most of the visually impaired who have been trained and gainfully employed by him either still hold their current jobs or have advanced to better positions. His experiences have proven that people in this sector when gainfully employed have a lower than average turnover rate. Furthermore, his experience has shown that people with disabilities take fewer absence days, generally work harder, are more loyal and most importantly tend to be more articulate and have a better memory, owing to the way they have to work.

Additionally, the expenses involved in hiring a blind employee are approximately the same as the expense of hiring one with sight. Most adaptations required for a blind employee are typically effortless and uncomplicated as well as inexpensive since most adjustments are practical, not monetary.

A more diverse workforce resembles a customer base more accurately; it allows for different ideas from different backgrounds and therefore a more diverse workforce helps businesses overall. Bottom line: not only is it good for a business, but it also allows for a sizable chunk of highly talented and underused sector of Emiratis to be included in the Emiritization plan.

Whether a small local business or large corporate, Healthsoft can help companies gainfully train and employ the visually challenged Emiratis as the country moves towards Emiritization. Our experiences allow us to help with an employee’s on-the-job training as well as provide training for management and staff so as to better understand blindness and low vision issues. Our initiative to employing someone with sight loss has been designed to address all questions and to set out the benefits of employing a blind person.