Envision’s BVI Workforce Innovation Center Offers Discounted Accessibility Services to Local Businesses and Nonprofits | Envision News

Envision BVI Workforce Innovation Center Offers Discounted Accessibility Services

By Holly Herring • Aug 11, 2022

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Envision’s BVI Workforce Innovation Center Offers Discounted Accessibility Services to Local Businesses and Nonprofits

Made possible by a grant from the City of Wichita, Envision’s Workforce Innovation Center is offering digital and corporate accessibility services at a reduced cost

WICHITA, Kan. (August 11, 2022) — The City of Wichita recently awarded Envision’s William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center a grant as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding. With this grant, small-to-medium-sized businesses, as well as non-profit organizations, could be eligible to receive accessibility services at a discounted price. Services include corporate accessibility training and digital accessibility consulting for employers, and job placement and trial employment for people with disabilities in Wichita. 

“We are very grateful to the City of Wichita for including Envision in this funding,” said Michael Monteferrante, President and CEO of Envision. “This can really open the doors for more businesses to create accessible and inclusive workplaces and then experience the benefits of a diverse workforce.”

According to accessibility experts at Envision who are blind or visually impaired, employers can make their workplaces more inclusive for people who are blind by ensuring equal access to the job application process, providing greater flexibility for working from home, and making documents, web pages, and social media content more accessible to screen reader users.

Envision has worked with clients across the nation to provide a variety of successful accessibility consulting services. Local clients include: Meritrust Credit Union, who adapted internal workplace processes to accommodate an Envision employee who is visually impaired and now works full-time in their call center; Novacoast, who considered digital accessibility changes within their website and training programs; Lifeboat Creative, who now provides clients with exceptional website accessibility solutions, and many more. 

"Guided by the expertise of the Workforce Innovation Center accessibility team, our website, onboarding processes, training and systems are more usable for people with disabilities,” said Paul Anderson, CEO at Novacoast. “With this partnership, Novacoast can provide people who are blind or visually impaired with access to a wider scope of professional employment opportunities."

There are now more job openings in the U.S. than workers. With more than 61 million people in the U.S. who have a disability, digital and workplace accessibility is crucial to reaching large portions of customers and potential employees. People who are blind or visually impaired are ready and able to fill gaps in companies right now during labor shortage.

Envision’s BVI Workforce Innovation Center opened in 2018 to address gaps in job creation for people with low vision or vision loss in the professional sector while working with employers to establish a culture of inclusion. The staff within the department consists of trained accessibility experts who are also blind or visually impaired, providing tangible and real-life consulting services. 

To find out if your company qualifies for the discounted services, visit workforceforall.com/ARPA-Accessibility-Placement-Services or contact Mika Pyyhkala, Dir. of Digital Accessibility, at 316-440-1573 or via email at mika.pyyhkala@envisionus.com

Three Envision employees standing with the City of Wichita Mayor holding a big check at the envision workforce innovation center 
 Photo courtesy of Envision

Pictured L-R: Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., Sr. VP, Foundation & Mission Services, Envision; Mark Eaton, Chief Financial Officer, Envision; City of Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple; Terese Goren, ATS, Assistive Technology Specialist, Envision BVI Workforce Innovation Center. 

About Envision: Envision promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or have low vision. Founded in 1933, Envision is one of the largest employers of individuals with vision loss in the nation. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Envision’s mission is to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education, and research. For more information, visit www.envisionus.com.

Media Contact: Holly Herring, Marketing Manager 
Office: 316-440-1531 | Email: media@envisionus.com