Pioneering new concepts of rehabilitation training and vocational development for people with visual disability, the Carroll Center, a non-profit agency teaches legally blind people how to adapt to living with these disabilities. Hope Lewis, a legally blind professor at the Northeastern University was awarded the title ‘Employee of the Year’ by the Carroll Centre and Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. Her work as international law and human rights teacher and scholar were commemorated. She is also a co-founder of the law school’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy.
Lewis hopes that this award will help in raising awareness about the conditions of people having disabilities and will also deal with their employment rights. In 1995, she was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. She conducts activities like reading standard-sized texts with corrective magnifying glasses, employing speech software for voluminous journal articles, etc. She says that it is her disability that makes her strive to achieve social and economic justice.
Currently, she is writing a book on the human rights of immigrants from the English-speaking Caribbean. According to her, labour laws do not protect women who are compelled to provide for their families by becoming domestic and health care employees in the United States. Though the domestic worker’s bill of rights allows employees to take one day off per week with establishing wage protections and avoid workplace abuses, women with low wage- jobs have the disability of their economic status and hence their human rights are violated.
She published her textbook, “Human Rights and the Global Marketplace: Economic, Social, and Cultural Dimensions” which is the first of its kind to talk about food, housing, and health care which are human rights that receive second-class treatment. She also spoke about how the conditions worsen after any calamity like hurricane and earthquakes which strike the population, “many disabled people suffered disproportionately or became disabled as a result of these disasters,” and that the government too, acts ignorant about it.