Imagine that you are working in the job of your dreams. What are you doing? Who are you impacting? How does it feel to be doing the work you prepared to do, serving the people you love to serve, having the time of your life doing what you love to do.
Now, imagine that I can connect you to that opportunity of your dreams. You have everything necessary for me to open the door for you and you are ready to walk into that opportunity, knowing you are going to be so successful.
You confidently come to me at the door and say, “Kristin, I am here. I am qualified. I will make you so proud that you gave me this opportunity.”
And then I tell you, “No.”
“What?” you ask, “Why won’t you connect me to the opportunity that I have dreamt about and I am such a great fit for?”
“Because,” I respond, “I just don’t think you can do it.”
“I am fully qualified,” you argue. “I have all of the necessary skills and training, I have stellar references, and I know exactly how to do the job quite well.”
“None of that matters to me,” I respond. “I have never met someone like you so I just don’t think you can do the job.”
“I am more than qualified. I have skills above the job requirements that will be such an asset here,” you demand.
“No,” I matter of factly reply. No explanation. No emotion. Nothing.
Is that frustrating? Is that fair that I just decided that you wouldn’t be successful?
Imagine next that you, in your very resourceful, success mindset driven way, go to another person for the opportunity… and they say the same thing. “No.” The next person, “No.” And the next, “No.”
No. No. No.
That is exactly one of the two biggest reasons for the 70% unemployment rate in the blind community. People that are blind or visually impaired are denied opportunities for work that they are fully qualified for simply because employers think they can’t possibly be successful.
That old, false story, that blindness = unsuccessful has been told for so long it is sickening. It has caused the $31.7 Billion cost to our American economy (Retina International Cost of Illness Study, 2021) It is time for the new, TRUE story of blindness to be told. Lucky for me, I am getting to tell it with a colleague and friend that is just as pissed off about the old false story as I am.
And we are living proof that the new story, the TRUE story, is the one YOU NEED to hear.
If you live in the Philadelphia area, you have the extraordinary opportunity to attend a private screening of my short film, The Greatest Equalizer, on April 19th. See event info in link below. If you do not live in the Philadelphia area but are interested to host a screening at your company, organization or conference, send me an email at Kristin@ThrivingBlindAcademy.org
Movie trailer coming soon. It will not be released until the audio description version is ready. This film team is committed to telling this story in a fully accessible way, as all things should be.
Philadelphia/Bucks County event details and tickets/sponsorships here: https://thrivingblindacademy.org/film
Special Note: If you are blind or low vision and need some inspiration as to possibilities of jobs/careers, read about thirteen people in the jobs of their dreams in my best selling book Thriving Blind. Get it here.
Kristin Smedley is a 2019 Champion of Hope Award winner. She is a two time Best Selling author, non profit leader and TEDx speaker. She originally planned to be a third grade teacher… and then two of her three children were diagnosed as blind. Kristin now speaks around the world sharing her journey to open the world’s eyes to seeing challenges and blindness differently. Kristin founded Thriving Blind Academy to solve the unemployment and literacy crisis in the blind community. Watch her TEDx talk here and order her book here. If you are interested to have Kristin speak at your upcoming virtual, live or hybrid event email her at Kristin@ThrivingBlindAcademy.org or download her speaker kit here.