moderated Re: Question about JAWS at job interviews

Justin Williams

If you are going to tell them, wait until you have been given the interview.

I would tell them, then possibly, but only then.



-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Dave Durber
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 6:12 AM
Subject: Re: Question about JAWS at job interviews


In the late 1960's, I applied for a job on the factory floor at a factory which made components for both the aircraft and shipping industries. I did not tell them about my visual impairment before I went to the interview.
Before the interview, I made it my business to find out as much as I could about the company and what they did . In addition, I borrowed some tools I might need for the job, which had been adapted for someone who was visually impaired to work in such a position.
They did not seem to be put out that I had not mentioned my visual impairment on my application, and after assking me some questions, including what I knew about the company, they asked how I would operate machinery such as, capston lathes, milling machines, power presses, etc. In addition, they asked how I would measure components, to make sure they met the tollerences, demanded by the job. I then showed them the tools I brought with me. They then asked me if I would show them how I would use the tools. I must have done what was required because, I was offered the job on the spot. And lastly, they told me that I was the only applicant who had taken the time to research the company before attending the interview.

If I was in the job market today, regardless as to whether I informed a prospective employer of my visual impairment or not, I would make sure I took a memory stick with a copy of both JAWS and NVDA on it, to the interview with me. Generally, with most countries around the world,there is not a legal requirement to inform employers of one's handicap/disability, I think I would be more inclined to do so because, it would give employers time to prepare reasonable accommodation/adjustment, for applicants who are handicapped/disabled, especially for I T departments to obtain and install demonstration versions of specialist software, such as screen readers, etc.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Walker" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 10:22 PM
Subject: Re: Question about JAWS at job interviews

Hi Rod,

Your situation sounds similar to mine. At my previous job which was also
my first to have to deal with interviewing as a programmer analyst, I did
not disclose my disability on the application, before, or during the
interview. The interview was just me answering questions about the job. I
only disclosed that I was blind after accepting the job offer, so I could
get permission to install JAWS on the company laptop. I wanted to keep
everything as job relevant as possible.


On 6/29/2021 3:54 PM, Rod wrote:
I am a musician. I do not go into interviews feeling that I need to talk
about this. However, when conversations naturally lead to that as being
relevant, I share that background.

I do the same thing with my visual impairment. you need to contextualize
how and when you address it. After a few interviews under your belt, you
will begin to identify the appropriate spot to get it out of the way and
make your interviewer comfortable.

I have been in interview situations where my visual impairment was
frankly irrelevant. It never came up as an issue because I was
referencing my accomplishments in previous positions while responding to

Rod Alcidonis, Esq.
-----Original Message----- From: Michael Walker
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 4:21 AM
Subject: Re: Question about JAWS at job interviews

Hi Rod,

I do focus on my qualifications. I am also just trying to be as prepared
as possible. It is helpful to hear others’ perspectives on this, for that
reason. At my last company, I was a programmer analyst. They did a phone
interview, and I was hired. Therefore, other formats will be new to me.
For others who asked, I will likely apply for jobs like programming and
database positions.

Best regards,

On Jun 28, 2021, at 9:49 PM, Rod <> wrote:


I understand your concerns but I would advise you to focus on your
qualifications for the job irrespective of your blindness. You cannot
control how anyone will act once they find out that you are blind. Go in
there with the attitude that you are the best candidate for the role. if
that is in fact the case, your blindness will not matter. this may be
difficult for you to pull off at the beginning but this will help you
with your career down the road.

It is self-defeating to spend precious time anticipating what others
reaction will be about you while you could have been preparing to
impress them at the interview with your knowledge, skills, and

Rod Alcidonis, Esq.
-----Original Message----- From: Michael Walker
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2021 8:51 PM
Subject: Re: Question about JAWS at job interviews

Hi Pam,

This is very helpful. How did your employer for the database
administrator position react, when you told them you were blind? How do
you know when you should disclose your blindness? What other jobs did
you have before that position?

Thank you,

On Jun 28, 2021, at 7:15 PM, Ekstrand, Pamela A. -ND
<> wrote:


It was for a database administrator job, so they asked a lot of
technical questions. They had already done a preliminary interview by
phone, and flew me out to where they were located, so I had told them I
was blind. We had a good discussion about how I was able to do my work,
but I did not take a laptop with me. I actually am not sure what I
would have shown them, since I would not have had access to their
systems at that point. They also contacted a few references which I
provided that were previous employers.

Let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Michael
Walker via
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2021 7:52 PM
Subject: Re: Question about JAWS at job interviews

Hi Rod,

Technical interviews may require coding exercises. I am not sure how
people who can see do those. At my prior programming job, it was just a
phone interview.

Pam, what did they do at your in-person interview?

Thank you,

On Jun 28, 2021, at 6:33 PM, Rod <> wrote:
Why would you need to bring a laptop to the interview?

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations at all
stages in the employment process.

Do you have specific concerns?


Rod Alcidonis, Esq.
-----Original Message----- From: Michael Walker
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2021 6:28 PM
Subject: Question about JAWS at job interviews


When you went to job interviews, did you bring your own laptop with
JAWS, or did the employer provide JAWS as an interview accommodation?
currently only have a desktop, but am willing to obtain a laptop. I am
assuming that I cannot expect any interview accommodations, and that I
should be prepared. Any thoughts?

Thank you,


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