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State Services for the Blind — For Job Seekers

When you request assistive technology (AT) services from State Service for the Blind (SSB) to help you find or keep a job, our staff will use a person-centered centered approach known as the SETT Framework to explore assistive technology to meet your needs.

What You Should Know

SETT stands for:

  • Student/Someone
  • Environments
  • Tasks
  • Tools

You can learn more about the SETT Framework at [insert link to the MN's Guide to AT page that explains the SETT Framework].

What to Expect

Below is the story of Joe, a worker who reached out to SSB for help finding AT to keep him on the job.

Step One - Identifying your needs

Joe, an employee of a local car dealership, recently lost some of his vision. SSB staff met with Joe to learn about his needs and complete a general assistive technology assessment, as well as a job site assessment to explore assistive technology options that would allow him to keep his current job as a car salesperson. When meeting with SSB staff, Joe shared that he was starting to have trouble reading the computer screen, paper documents, and the windshield stickers on the cars.  This was a problem since he needed to be able to read and enter data on the computer, check drivers' licenses, assist customers in filling out forms and reviewing other paperwork, and keep track of vehicle VIN numbers and other information. 

Step Two - Exploring Assistive Technology

As part of his technology assessment, Joe tried several types of technology. After exploring features of ZoomText Magnifier/Reader, Joe decided to download a free 60-day demo of the software to trial at work. An SSB trainer met with Joe at the car dealership to show him common ZoomText features and keyboard commands that he could use to help him with his work tasks.

For reading paper documents and vehicle information, SSB matched Joe's needs with product features and recommended that he try the Acrobat HD Mini and Ruby XL HD CCTVs.  The Acrobat Mini CCTV is a small, transportable 12 inch CCTV that can view near or distant objects, and can also easily be used for writing and filling out forms.  The Ruby is a 5 inch handheld CCTV the client could use anywhere around the office, or in the car-lot to read vehicle information. 

Step Three - Selecting and Purchasing Assistive Technology

SSB arranged a trial period for the portable and handheld CCTVs to see if they met Joe's needs. Near the end of the trial period, SSB met with Joe at the car dealership to assess how well ZoomText, Acrobat Mini and Ruby HDXL were meeting his workplace needs.  During this job site assessment, Joe demonstrated how he used ZoomText to read and enter information into the computer, check work E-mail, and research vehicle information for customers.  He also showed how he used both CCTVs to read drivers licenses, fill out paperwork, and read vehicle VIN numbers.  Satisfied that all of the recommended technology helped Joe complete his job tasks, SSB worked with the car dealership to purchase a ZoomText software license, as well as the Ruby and Acrobat Mini CCTVs for permanent use.  Not only was Joe able to keep his job, but he also maintained the same level of productivity he had before experiencing vision loss. 

Additional Resources

State Services for the Blind (For Job Seekers) - https://mn.gov/deed/ssb/jobseekers/overview.jsp

Minnesota State Services for the blind (SSB)

SSB offers a variety of accessible reading materials through its Braille department, communication Center, and Talking Book Radio services. 
Website:  http://mn.gov/deed/job-seekers/blind-visual-impaired/
Phone:  (651) 539-2300 or Toll Free at (800) 652-9000

Minnesota Braille and Audio Reading (BARD)

Website:  http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/StuSuc/Lib/MBTBL/MNBARD/
Accessed Through:  Digital talking book player, BARD Mobile app, portable book players, Braille notetakers
Cost:  Free to qualifying members
Description:  BARD is an accessible reading service through NLS, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  Patrons can read books in audio or Braille format.  Audio books can either be sent to the patron on a digital cartridge or downloaded directly from the MN BARD web site.  Braille books can be mailed to the patron or downloaded to several portable devices or the BARD Mobile app. 
How to Register:  Visit http://www.loc.gov/nls/signup.html for eligibility and registration instructions, or call (800) 722-0550.

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