Are Blind People Being Exploited?

I’ve just read a request from one of the large blindness organisations in the UK who are asking for blind and partially sighted volunteers to test out possible solutions to touch screen access in public places.

Good that they are addressing this problem but it has made me so angry. Said organisation asks blind people to give their time for free for testing of internal products and services. If an outside company is involved, the organisation suggests that a £10 or £20 voucher is a suitable “thank you” gesture.

My point is that these organisations should be leading by example. Every blind person I know who was formerly employed by this one in particular have now been made redundant. In my opinion how can they campaign for better employment opportunities for blind people if they don’t employ us themselves? If capable blind personnel are seen to be doing a good job within the organisation, other companies will surely recognise our potential. Also they are giving out the message that blind people will give their time for little more than a pat on the head.

To me this is insulting at best, at worst exploitation. I’m not going to name the organisation because they’re all doing it.

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About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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