Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)

We understand that, as a small or medium sized business, you may have concerns about taking on someone with sight loss, or about an existing employee who is losing their sight

Employing blind and partially sighted people guide

Our guide to employing blind and partially sighted people has been designed to address those concerns and to set out the benefits of employing a blind or partially sighted person. It covers everything you need to know about employing someone with sight loss, from the recruitment and interview process, to making sure an employee has the right equipment in place to carry out their role.

Advances in technology mean that blind and partially sighted people can now overcome many of the barriers to work that they faced in the past, and grant schemes like Access to Work mean that many of the costs can be met by the Government.

There are simple steps you can take to ensure that a blind or partially sighted employee is an asset to your organisation.

All of the information in this web section is available to download as a PDF:

The employer's perspective: a case study

Afshan Nawaz heads up a small London law firm employing six people. The firm recently took on Joanne who is registered blind. She is completely blind in her right eye and has limited vision in her left eye.

Afshan, Joanne's employer, says:

"Joanne's ambition and work ethic is something to be admired. I think it's all too easy for employers to focus on what a person with a disability can't do, rather than all the things people like Joanne can do."

"We haven't incurred any additional costs due to employing Joanne and the Access to Work scheme has been really efficient; recommending and funding different pieces of equipment that will help Joanne at work.

"Joanne's sight loss hasn't stopped her from any of her day-to-day duties, including interviewing new clients, making applications to the Home Office and issuing judicial review applications in the high court.

"Joanne has been able to complete all her work with just a few extra pieces of equipment, including a larger computer screen with the resolution set to maximum and a portable magnifier for reading small print documents."

The facts

Read our facts about employing a blind or partially sighted person which will help to dispel some of the common myths around sight loss and employment.

The application and interview process

Our application and interview process information offers practical advice on making sure that your recruitment process is fair.

How technology helps

Our IT and accessibility section tells you everything you need to understand about how blind and partially sighted people use computers.

Work-based assessments

Our work-based assessment section provides information on specialist assessments that recommend equipment, software, and adjustments that would better allow an employee to fulfil their role.

Access to Work

The Government's Access to Work scheme can help you to meet any costs arising from employing a blind or partially sighted person.

The business case for job retention

Retaining an employee who is losing their sight means that your business can continue to benefit from the skills, knowledge, and relationships they have built up over time. Find out more about employing someone who is blind or partially sighted.

The law

Find out about your legal duties as an employer under the Equality Act.

Knowledge and research hub

We are a leading source of information on sight loss and the issues affecting blind and partially sighted people. Access our statistics, evidence and reports in our research hub.

Visit the research hub