Heard & Empowered features in-depth interviews and personal stories of overcoming adversity
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—National Industries for the Blind (NIB) has launched a groundbreaking podcast that shares job and career insights, inspiration, and insider tips specifically tailored to the blind and visually impaired community.
Working-age people who are blind have an unemployment rate of 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 was determined to 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.
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 www.heardandempowered.org for more information.
About National Industries for the Blind
Incorporated in 1938, NIB is the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind, and through its network of associated nonprofit agencies, the largest employer of people who are blind in the U.S. NIB creates opportunities for people who are blind to become wage earners and taxpayers, reducing their reliance on government support and increasing engagement in their communities. The organization offers career training and assists employers and employees in developing mutually beneficial workplaces. NIB’s vision is that blindness is not a barrier to employment. In 2021, NIB launched a national talent management enterprise known as NSITE. NSITE provides a continuum of employment services that connect employers with talented, dedicated people who are blind or visually impaired, including veterans. For more information, visit www.nib.org or www.nsite.org.