Industrial Equipment News recently published an interview with National Industries for the Blind (NIB) President and CEO Kevin Lynch that explains how NIB became a pivotal provider for the U.S. government and military after its establishment in 1938 and how it continues to fill that role today.
Noting the NIB and its network of associated nonprofit agencies started out manufacturing such traditional items as mops and brooms, Lynch says that accessible technology has been a game-changer for employees who are blind, allowing agencies to take on much more complex projects. Examples of the advanced manufacturing work NIB agencies do today includes infrared coding and producing fire-retardant military uniforms. In addition, accessible technology has enabled many agencies to take on service work such as closing out contracts for federal and military entities.
Explaining that much of the information sighted people take in comes from visual cues, Lynch describes how NIB and its associated agencies utilize a style of training that allows employees who are blind to get into a repetitive mode that enables them to safely perform steps and procedures used in manufacturing.
The article, which calls NIB and its associated agencies a “backbone of the United States military” also provides a look at how they have answered the nation’s call during the COVID-19 pandemic. “When other businesses were closing, our agencies were actually open,” Lynch says, listing the variety of products produced for the military and government agencies.
Overall, Lynch claims the most important factor in growing employment for people who are blind and providing opportunities for them to have meaningful careers is changing the public’s perception. “I believe that, in my experience, there are individuals out there who have little to no sight who can do anything,” he says.
Click here to read the full article in Industrial Equipment News.