Working with Individuals who are Visually Impaired

 

National Federation of the Blind  pic

National Federation of the Blind
Image: nfb.org

Jon Schorsch medically retired from the Port of Seattle Police Department in 2007 after serving at the department for 14 years, then went on to complete his juris doctor at the Seattle University School of Law in 2014. After losing his sight, Jon Schorsch became involved in organizations such as the National Federation of the Blind and Sight Connections.

Visual impairment refers to vision loss where eyesight cannot be corrected back to a “normal” level. Age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, eye injuries, diabetes, strokes and cataracts are among the causes of visual impairment.

People who have a visual impairment are still able to work. Working with individuals who are visually impaired may be awkward at first for a person who has never had firsthand experience working with such individuals. Below are some things to keep in mind when working with visually impaired people:

Before starting a conversation, identify yourself to colleagues who have a visual impairment. Do not assume that the person will recognize you from your voice.

Speak normally to coworkers with visual impairment. Do not talk too loudly or slowly.

While preparing documents for a meeting or other purpose, simple fonts should be used, as it will be hard for people with low vision to look at stylized or graphical fonts.

Never touch, push or pull a person with visual impairment without asking him or her first. If one is talking to a visually impaired person and the person does not realize it, one can gently touch his or her back to gain their attention.

Lastly, give a verbal indication of the end of a conversation before walking away.

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OSHA Releases New Trucking Safety Flier

 

Trucking pic

Trucking
Image: osha.gov

Jon Schorsch worked as a sergeant with the Port of Seattle Police Department for more than a decade before earning his juris doctor from the Seattle University School of Law. Throughout his professional career, Jon Schorsch often dealt with issues pertaining to codes set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In April 2018, OSHA released a new flier aimed at tackling the three most dangerous situations that commercial tractor trailer drivers will face in their duties: parking, driving in reverse, and coupling and decoupling trailers. The information is salient given that, of the 96 fatalities related to trucking reported just in the Midwest between the years of 2015 and 2017, more than a dozen were related to coupling or decoupling issues.

The flier addresses best practices for those procedures, how to properly park and secure the vehicle when exiting, and step-by-step tips for what to look for when backing up. In some instances, it may be necessary to use a spotter when putting a truck in reverse if the terrain is narrow or not entirely visible in the mirror.

OSHA Launches Online Resource to Find Authorized Trainers

OSHA pic

OSHA
Image: OSHA.gov

Jon Schorsch studied for his JD at Seattle University School of Law and has completed internships with the King County Department of Public Defense and Teamsters Local 117. In his legal career, Jon Schorsch has developed a thorough understanding of employment-related legislation and regulations related to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Created by an act of Congress in 1970, OSHA is the federal agency responsible for ensuring safe work environments across the country. The agency functions under the aegis of the Department of Labor and is led by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. To better serve American workers and employers, OSHA maintains a number of initiatives, including a training outreach program.

The OSHA outreach training program offers 10- and 30-hour courses divided into four categories: construction, general industry, maritime industry, and disaster site workers. Participants who complete the entire course receive an OSHA card proving their attendance and completion.

Authorized trainers conduct all OSHA courses, some of which can be taken online. In April 2018, the agency established an online portal that makes it easier to find not only authorized online trainers, but also authorized local trainers. To learn more about the outreach-training program or find a trainer near you, visit www.osha.gov.

Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA

April 24, 2018 Leave a comment

 

ADA pic

ADA
Image: ADA.gov

Jon Schorsch is a deacon at Mill Creek Community Church and is involved with the United Way as well as the Port of Seattle Police Department Benevolent Association. A former police sergeant, Jon Schorsch also worked at the King County Department of Public Defense. Additionally, he possesses technical expertise in COBRA, OSHA, FMLA, and the ADA, among other areas. The ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil rights law that was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities, the ADA helps to ensure equal opportunities for disabled Americans. Under the law, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees unless it would cause an undue hardship. Reasonable accommodations include a wide range of workplace modifications that help disabled individuals do their jobs. For example, an employer may modify desks or facilities so that a person in a wheelchair can utilize them or modify scheduled work hours to allow an employee to receive medical care.

For additional information on the ADA and reasonable accommodations, visit www.ada.gov.

Mediation Versus Traditional Courtroom Litigation

 

Mediationpic

Mediation
Image: voaww.org

Public service professional Jon Schorsch was formerly a sergeant at the Port of Seattle Police Department. Active in civil service, Jon Schorsch volunteers with Volunteers of America – Mediation, a service offered by the national nonprofit organization.

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution where a neutral third party helps individuals or groups in conflict come up with an agreeable solution. It can often serve as an alternative to the formal court process. Neutral mediators sit down with the parties in conflict and work together toward realizing a mutually agreeable solution.

Mediation has a number of benefits, including:

– Affordability 

It is more cost-effective to settle a dispute through mediation than through the court system. This is because there are no legal fees, court filing fees, or related litigation costs.

– Quick resolution of disputes

Mediation usually takes days or weeks, unlike the court process which can drag on for months or even years. Because it is informal, the parties can engage more and even set up a convenient schedule that allows them to dispense with the matter quickly.

– Confidential 

Unlike court proceedings which are public, mediation is usually conducted in a private setting.

– Win-win 

Mediators focus on helping the parties come up with a mutually agreeable solution. It is different from the court process, where a third party makes a final determination which may favor one side while leaving the other disappointed with the outcome.

Mill Creek Community Church Hosts Sunday Contemporary Service

February 25, 2018 Leave a comment

 

Mill Creek Community Churchpic

Mill Creek Community Church
Image: millcreekchurch.com

With an extensive career in law enforcement, Jon Schorsch is a former police sergeant with the Port of Seattle Police Department in Seattle, Washington. Active in his community, Jon Schorsch belongs to the Mill Creek Community Church (MCCC).

MCCC connects people through worship, prayer, and generosity. The biblically centered church cultivates spiritual growth and strives to build relationships through a walk with God. MCCC began in 1989 as a church plant for the Christian Reformed Church and moved into its current building in 2001.

Worshipers can attend the MCCC contemporary service on Sundays at 10 a.m. Children aged 3 and younger can stay in the nursery, while kids through fifth grade can attend Sunday school classes and stay with their parents for the rest of the service. When the service ends, congregants can visit the prayer room to pray alone or with others.

A Snapshot of COBRA Benefits

February 17, 2018 Leave a comment