Heard & Empowered Podcast Champions the Brilliance and Resilience of the Blind and Visually Impaired Community

On November 29, NIB launched Heard & Empowered, a groundbreaking podcast that shares job and career insights, inspiration, and insider tips specifically tailored to the blind and visually impaired community. 

People who are blind have one of the highest unemployment rates at 70%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate for people with a disability is about twice as high as the rate for people without a disability.

NIB is dedicated to changing these statistics. Heard & Empowered listeners will access in-depth interviews with subject matter experts and a robust resource hub to aid them on their journey to secure meaningful employment in the career field of their choice.

Host Hoby Wedler is uniquely positioned to guide listeners: he was born completely blind, holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and has spent his life overcoming obstacles. After being rejected for a job because of his blindness, Wedler determined he’d do everything in his power to prevent it from happening again. He has dedicated his career to breaking down barriers and creating inclusive spaces for people who are blind or visually impaired. In naming Wedler to its 2016 “30 Under 30” list of bright young entrepreneurs, leaders, and stars, Forbes magazine noted, “Hoby Wedler is a man with a mission: Solving the problems of the business world in creative ways no one has imagined before.”

Wedler is passionate about building a more inclusive future where the next generation of blind individuals can aspire without limits and be accepted without bias. “I am honored to be a part of the amazing work performed every day by NIB and its network of associated nonprofit agencies,” says Wedler. “What we are launching is not just a podcast; it is a movement that will change lives, create thousands of jobs, and literally turn dreams into realities.”

Week after week, guests who are leading or working for NIB associated nonprofit agencies across the country join Wedler to share personal stories about the ways they overcame adversity, successfully adapted and accommodated to the sighted world, and developed fulfilling careers.

Heard & Empowered is not only a podcast for people who are blind or visually impaired – it is also an invaluable resource for allies such as employers, educators, vocational trainers, policymakers, innovators, family members, advocates for social change, and anyone committed to building an inclusive society.

Heard & Empowered provides listeners with insights and practical advice on:

  • The nuances of hiring blind professionals
  • Ways to support job seekers who have visual disabilities
  • Realities of the low cost for most accommodations
  • How to encourage employees in their professional aspirations
  • Leadership styles that create a more equitable professional environment

“Creating a truly diverse workforce translates to a significantly improved bottom line for any business,” explains Wedler. “People who are blind solve problems differently than any other group, and our solutions are proven to help the companies that we work with.”

New episodes are available each Wednesday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and a variety of other platforms – visit the Heard & Empowered website to start your journey. Amplify our movement: subscribe, rate, and review the podcast!