Two Perspectives on Disability Employment Awareness Month

By Benetech, posted on

At Benetech, we believe that no person should experience barriers to employment due to a disability. In fact, accessibility and inclusion are core organizational truths. As disability employment awareness month comes to a close, two members of the Benetech team share their perspective on the month, the things that have helped them thrive in the workplace with a disability, and a vision for a world without barriers to employment.

Charles LaPierre

Location: USA

Role: Technical Lead, Born Accessible

 “Being visually impaired myself, I have always felt supported and at times felt Benetech was bending over backwards to make sure any accommodations I needed were met.  Benetech has always been proactive with accommodations and inclusion making sure our office workstations or home offices, when we were all forced to work from home [due to the pandemic], would meet our needs. I love that we have dedicated Slack channels for accessibility, diversity and inclusion and all software and products we must use to do our jobs have been vetted first to ensure accessibility.  Having a disability should not impact your ability to do your job especially when you have an amazing company like Benetech supporting you.”

Charles, Mary, and Brian smile at the camera in a conference room.
Charles, left, at the 2019 DIAGRAM Center accessibility hackathon with Mary Bellard, Sr. Accessibility Architect, Microsoft; and Bryan Bashin, CEO, Lighthouse

Rhea Guntalilib

Location: Philippines

Role: Bookshare Membership Support – Vision Australia and Philippines

To our young friends who are just starting their careers: Opportunities came to my life because I embraced an open mindset – ‘no barriers’ – to be the best in what I am and be open to every opportunity to share my skills and knowledge with others along the way. In my early years, self-development, motivational and technology books in Bookshare inspired me. Reading is my passion. I want to continue that journey. I lead the Bookshare Book Club in the Philippines, which has become a strong support group for members and a place to share life insights. Little did I know my life would intersect with Benetech. It is truly a privilege to work with Benetech, the creator of Bookshare, because the organization walks the walk of accessibility and inclusion for all.”

A collage of Rhea working at a computer and her book cover: Gaining Vision Upon Losing My Sight: A colorful life after blindness
Rhea recently published a memoir, Gaining Vision Upon Losing My Sight: A colorful life after blindness, which can be found on Bookshare and Amazon.

We want to thank Rhea and Charles for sharing their perspectives and for all the work that they do every day to empower people with disabilities to read, learn and work in ways that work for them. We are so lucky to have them on our team!

Feeling motivated to join the Benetech team? See open positions on our career page.

Learn more about our work to remove barriers to employment.