Color vision for network techs

Jimmy Hess mysidia at
Sat Sep 1 01:19:54 UTC 2012

On 8/31/12, Scott Morris <swm at> wrote:

Perhaps the more reasonable thing to do would be instead of
administering "vision tests";
administer practical skill proficiency tests,  so you will expose only
issues that effect performance on tasks required for a job.   "Color
vision" is such an arbitrary  thing that does not necessarily
translate into better performance on the task you think requires it;
some candidates might have poor performance on the job-relevant tasks
because of it, some candidates might have effective workarounds that
work for them.

Of course buying better equipment is one workaround;  it might not be
an option, if your org already owns equipment or is contracted to
support equipment with problematic displays.
The number of tasks where color alone is essential should be very
small, and it might be to your disadvantage to single out based on
that criteria though.

If a job requirement is that they do some splices, then have your
candidates do some splices, and judge their test results based on
accuracy and speed.   If they have color vision issues, and it causes
the performance issue you assume, for that particular task,  then it
should bear out in the test results.

If a job requirement is that the person in that role can specifically
read status lights;  then find a way to administer a practical exam,
that requires demonstrating the ability to identify the status of
things and troubleshoot using the lights,   and  use the hardest kind
of status lights they will have to deal with on the job, as the test

If the candidate requires some device or tool to help them read the
status light, then allow them to use any personal aid available that
does not require the use of another person network connectivity,
plugins to the equipment,  modifications to hardware, or other
unreasonable requirements, to complete the task.
And notify them in advance of the test conditions.

Ensure whomever administers the test  will only report the performance
on the task, as the test results,  and not whether or not any  kind of
aids were required, to the interviewer, so
only the performance data can be used to make the decision.

> The ADA act does not allow people to have access to every single job
> regardless of their handicap.  So, if something requires the ability to
> see certain colors, then that's a requirement.

The ADA does not guarantee access,  but if the employer or place
of business meets certain criteria (which some might not meet, and
therefore be exempt), the law does prohibit certain kinds
of discrimination when it is possible to make accommodations  that will
provide access and that meet certain criteria;  it is not allowed to refuse
to accommodate to provide access,  when the law applies,  and the
reason for refusal fails to meet certain requirements.

When you seek the advise from your attorney,  they should inform you
how the law may or may not apply to your organization, with the specific
kind of hiring  and  pre-offer testing you are considering.

> Scott


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