Changing the Lives of People who Want to Work

IFB Solutions’ 3-year, $3M plan to create jobs for 300 people who are blind.

Each day, thousands of people who are blind do not head to work like sighted folks in their communities. In fact, 70% of working age adults across the US who are blind are not employed.

IFB Solutions is the largest employer of people who are blind. Even still, our job openings are often not the right fit for people who are blind who want to work due to location and skillset.

To address these challenges, IFB Solutions developed a robust plan to create jobs in its work-from-home call center division, Workforce Services. Empowering people to work in their homes eliminates the physical location and transportation barriers, and a new computer training program maximizes their skillsets to fill jobs call center operators are struggling to staff. By September of 2026, IFB plans to have 300 people who are blind employed as call center operators. This requires considerable investment in recruitment, training and onboarding as well as business development.

Your support will change the lives of people who want to work. Donate today by clicking here or the button below.

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3 Year Plan

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Between October 2023 and September 2026, IFB Solutions will expand jobs for people who are blind in work-at-home call center operations through business development, recruitment and training programs.

300 Employees

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Over 3 years, IFB Solutions will grow its headcount to 300 employees who are blind (up from nearly 50 as of December 2023) in work at home call center jobs. These jobs empower people who are blind to work from home anywhere across the U.S., eliminating geographical and transportation barriers to employment.

$3,000,000 Goal

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This is the cost to grow headcount to 300 that cannot be billed back to a call center client. This includes job readiness and computer skills training, system accessibility setup, job accommodations and onboarding for employees who are blind.

$13,000/Employee

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Cost per person who is blind to successful move them from unemployment into a career path. This is one-time investment in an individual to give them skills needed to immediately work an at-home call center job, but set them up for a lifetime of future job success.

About IFB Solutions

Founded in 1936 with just 6 employees who are blind, IFB today employs more than 300 people who are blind across its diverse business operations. It has been a trusted partner of the Department of Defense for decades with the majority of its employment opportunities and revenues coming from military textiles, office products and services for the federal government. Since 2011, IFB has created more than 1,200 jobs for people who are blind. IFB provides a variety of programs and services for people who are blind in and around its corporate headquarters in Winston-Salem, NC as well as its Asheville, NC facility.


Stories of Success

Kevin’s Second Chance

Headshot of Kevin Fowler, standing outside with cane

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kevin suddenly found himself unemployed. With an extensive career in both IT and customer service, he assumed he’d be back in the workforce in no time. But “boy, was I wrong,” he said. “After disclosing that I was blind and needed special accommodations, the process always fell flat, and I was never contacted again. Three years of searching, and it seemed like rejection after rejection and disappointment.” Then, in 2023, Kevin heard about the remote work opportunities available through IFB Solutions. “IFB saw my resume and work background and gave me the second chance I had been hoping for,” Kevin explained. “This job has been a godsend to start working again to provide for my family.”

Mary’s Myriad Accomplishments

Headshot of Mary Anderson, seated outside

Mary has had an accomplished career in a variety of service jobs, has won medals for her singing voice, is a  fantastic cook, and speaks three languages. She’s also totally blind. She joined IFB Solutions in 2016 and currently works from home as a call center operator. “I’m proud to be an IFB employee and to be able to do my job to the best of my ability and to help others do the same.” She recently started supporting on-the-job training for new employees who are blind with her call center client. “My passion is making sure that those who are visually impaired can live the best life possible and advocating for better laws to protect those who are disabled and who do not have a voice to advocate for themselves.”

What’s it like to work an at-home call center job?

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Our employees typically work an 8am to 5pm schedule with breaks throughout, varying by customer. They may be providing answers to customer questions on behalf of a popular casual dining chain, or directing calls regarding vital records on behalf of state health departments.

For employees who are totally blind and using JAWS® voice-over software, they may be rapidly navigating between eight separate browser windows while the customer speaks in one ear and the voiceover software in the other hear. The work requires extreme mental focus and can often be intense.

How to Give

Your Gifts Unleash Unseen Potential in People who are Blind

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Your donations, pledges and planned gifts directly impact the lives of people who are blind. By giving to the Workforce Services Expansion Campaign, you will create a job for someone who hasn’t had the training or opportunity to find meaningful work.

A Giving Challenge from the Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation

Gordon Gund, businessman and philanthropist, is visually impaired himself and is instrumental in advocacy and financial support for improving the lives of people who are blind. He has personally contributed an unconditional gift of $400,000 in addition to a 3-year challenge gift through the Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation. To meet the challenge, IFB Solutions must receive $600,000 in gifts and pledges in the first year of the campaign to receive a $200,000 gift from the Foundation, with additional gifts following similar milestones in subsequent years.

How to Give

  • Give online using the form below
  • By Check or Money Order, made out to IFB Solutions (mail to Tatiana Russell, 7730 North Point Drive, Winston-Salem NC 27106)
  • Planned giving and gifts from Donor Advised Funds are also accepted. Contact Tatiana Russell at 336-354-9742 or trussell@ifbsolutions.org for more details.
  • Pledges are readily accepted for the Workforce Services Expansion Campaign and must be paid in full by September 20, 2026. Make a pledge using the form below or contact Ged Doughton at 704-965-3311 or gdoughton@ifbsolutions.org for support.

Questions?

We’d love to talk. Reach out to Tatiana Russell at 336-354-9742 or trussell@ifbsolutions.org.