UK Employers are being aided in supporting blind and partially sighted staff through a new suite of resources from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
The initiative is part of the Department for Work and Pension’s Disability Confident scheme, a nationally-recognised Government accreditation that supports businesses to attract, recruit, and retain disabled employees.
Now available on RNIB’s website, the suite was launched this month at an event hosted by insurance giant and recent UK Complaint Handling Awards winner Zurich in London. During the launch, employers such as Royal Mail, O2 and John Lewis & Partners were brought together to recognise the contribution that blind and partially sighted employees make to businesses. They also got an exclusive first-look at the new resources, which have now been shared with more than 10,000 Disability Confident members.
Among those at the launch event was Caroline Casey (pictured above), a blind disability activist and management consultant, who gave a keynote speech on what the new resources would offer.
They include a menu of webinars, good practice toolkits, guides for making changes, and blogs. Employers are also invited to take an RNIB Workplace Accessibility Health Check, which assesses employers’ knowledge of the reasonable adjustments a blind or partially sighted person might need to do their job.
David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said: “Although employment rates are at a record high, just one-in-four blind or partially sighted people are in work, which is a waste of valuable talent and skills in the UK workforce. As well as helpful advice and best practice, our new suite of resources includes examples of people who are registered blind in a range of different roles – proving that people with sight loss can be graphic designers, film-makers and accountants.
“With the right support, visually impaired people can thrive in the workplace and make a significant contribution to businesses in almost all employment sectors. We just need employers to realise the unique commercial value that blind and partially sighted employees can undoubtedly bring to their businesses.”