City of Dallas Partnership with Envision Dallas Creates Meaningful Employment Opportunities for a Population Who Navigates a 70% Unemployment Rate
DALLAS, TEXAS (June 30, 2022) — The Dallas City Council approved a proposal on June 8 to partner with Envision Dallas’s Interface contact center to employ seven people who are blind or visually impaired to answer calls for municipal court customer service. With the three-year contract, the Envision Dallas Interface team will handle more than 70% of the nearly 11,000 calls for municipal court customer service each year. At least three employees on the account are bilingual and two are total blind while others are visually impaired.
“We are excited about this new contract between Dallas 311 and Envision Dallas Interface. With employment opportunities limited for people who are blind or visually impaired, it’s a big win to employ even one more person who is eager to work,” said David Stupay, Managing Director, Envision Dallas. “Our relationship with the City of Dallas continues to strengthen and we are grateful they are trusting us to meet the needs of the people. We know we will surpass their expectations.”
While touring Envision Dallas earlier this year, several team members from Dallas 311 including Director Janette Weedon, were impressed with the vast number of operations within the facility where more than 200 people are employed, the majority being visually impaired. Conversations about needs and opportunities arose which led to the current proposal to work together.
“All of us at Dallas 311 are looking forward to working with the team at Envision Dallas in their contact center. This partnership is unique and the first-of-its-kind for us,” said Janette Weedon, Director of Dallas 311. “We understand that it’s hard for people who are blind or visually impaired to find employment and we want to be a part of the change to educate business leaders about the many possibilities of employing a diverse workforce.”
Training for the team assigned to the 311 account at Envision Dallas has already begun and they will officially start taking calls on July 1.
The unemployment rate for people who are blind or visually impaired in the United States is a staggering 70%. Envision Dallas exists to help decrease that unemployment number and to provide comprehensive services and programs to the more than 150,000 people in the 11 counties in North Texas who are blind or visually impaired.
Since 2018, Envision Dallas, formerly the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, has taken strategic steps to expand and enhance its operations in North Texas by adding more than 15 new products and 35 jobs in manufacturing, as well as 7 clients and 25 jobs in the Envision Interface call center. In addition, Envision Dallas welcomed Dr. Carolyn Carman with VisionMAX, a specialty low vision clinic located within Envision Dallas, as well as renovated the American Foundation for the Blind Center on Vision Loss and Esther’s Place, a model apartment designed to help individuals who are blind or visually impaired gain higher levels of independence in a home setting.
For more information about Envision Dallas, please visit envisionus.com/dallas.
About Envision Dallas: Envision Dallas, formerly the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, in an innovator in the North Texas community, striving to offer meaningful employment opportunities and resources to more than 150,000 individuals with
visual impairments living in Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro and Rockwall counties. Part of the Envision, Inc. family, Envision Dallas promotes advocacy and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired to help them succeed and thrive in the workplace, have productive and meaningful lives, interact with their communities and ultimately achieve their dreams. 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. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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From left to right- (311) Laura Galindo, (ENV) Karen Jones, (ENV) Lawanda Nash, (ENV) Gabrielle Arevalo, (ENV) Esmeralda Paugh, (ENV) Jenny Wood, (ENV) Juan Sosa, (ENV) Ernesto Melendez, (311) Ian Hallett, (311) Mayra Orta, (ENV) Labrent Sowells