Achieving the American Dream

AIB employee Richard White is living his definition of the American Dream.

Phoenix, AZ—Computer Operator Richard White is living his definition of the American
Dream. He has pride in home ownership, is financially self-sufficient and able to support his

White, who is legally blind, has been employed at Arizona Industries for the Blind (AIB) for
more than 25 years. Throughout his career at AIB, White has received the training and support to
successfully perform a wide range of warehouse functions. Following his promotion to
Computer Operator III, his job duties now include order processing, order tracking and
maintaining warehouse activity spreadsheets for the agency’s busy 175,000sq.ft. warehouse

AIB’s warehouse Distribution Services Unit provides third-party fulfillment services to the
Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) and its military customers. “The best part of my job is being
able to serve my country and knowing that my work is serving the men and women in our
military services,” said White.

White also knows firsthand the barriers to employment that people who are blind often face. “I
found that prospective employers had a difficult time overlooking my visual impairment and I
didn’t know what to say or how to address my disability during a job interview. What I did know
is that I had a family to support and two little boys that depended on me.”

“People who are blind face a multitude of barriers to competitive employment over their sighted
counterparts in the workforce,” said David Steinmetz, AIB Communications Manager. “In
addition to the all too common misperceptions surrounding the capabilities of people who are
blind, is access to safe and reliable transportation and accessible electronic or print media.”

“Depending on who you ask, statistics for unemployment rates range from 25 to 70 percent for
persons who are blind. The one thing that is common among disability employment advocates is
that persons who are blind are competitive in the workplace when provided training and
technology,” said Steinmetz. “And AIB is living proof of this.”

Arizona Industries for the Blind employs more than 50 Arizonians who are blind or visually
impaired. “AIB recognizes each person’s abilities, not their disability. For team members like
Richard White, AIB provides the opportunity for personal and professional growth through
dignified employment,” said Steinmetz.

“I take a lot of pride working at AIB. We provide job opportunities to blind or visually impaired
people and help them achieve independence and self-reliance in jobs that may be hard to come
by in the private sector,” said White.