This is a manual for trainers to deliver a structured training programme for blind and partially sighted people requiring the development of skills to move closer to the labour market.
Research has shown that many blind and partially sighted people find it difficult to find work regardless of their academic qualifications or employment history. It also shows that developing pre-employment skills in a group learning environment which offers peer support, can help to fast-track those furthest from the labour market towards finding work.
The programme is divided into fifteen modules, plus an introduction for trainers. You can read the module overviews at the link below. Each module is accompanied by a set of handouts and/or supplementary material. These are contained on the CD-Rom that accompanies this manual, and also in the Pre-employment programme trainers toolkit, which you can find at the link below.
All of the handouts have been designed to conform to RNIB's guidelines for accessible documents. Text-only and non-tabular versions have been provided where appropriate. There are also four braille templates that have been included for the production of tactile diagrams using swell paper or graphic embosser.
Below are the Pre-employment programme module overviews for trainers working with blind and partially sighted people. The overviews are designed to provide trainers with a quick synopsis of each day's content to be delivered during this fifteen-day training programme.
Each overview includes the participant outcomes anticipated for the day, the rationale for including such information in a training programme for blind and partially sighted people, and a brief description of the content to be covered.
Here you can download a ZIP file containing the Pre-employment programme trainers' toolkit. This includes handouts and supplements for modules 0-15.
RNIB has recently completed a major revision to the toolkit. Two modules - the Introduction (module 0), and Labour Market Realities (module 2), have been substantially rewritten in order to:
The revised Introduction (module 0) provides advice on designing a programme to fit varying timeframes, resources and budgets. A new section, called 'How to structure your programme', offers practical advice on how courses can be organised even when there are not enough resources available to deliver the unabridged 15 module programme.
The new Introduction also recommends that participants should be selected for the course based on an assessment using our employment assessment toolkit. This was designed and tested as part of extensive research involving approximately 100 blind and partially sighted people. The toolkit will enable trainers to gain a clear understanding of each person's aspirations in relation to employment, and what types of support and development are needed to help fulfil these aspirations.
Labour Market Realities (module 2) has also been updated, to reflect the wide range of occupational finders that employment professionals typically use with their clients. There is also information about the Skills In Sight online literacy and numeracy assessment tool, and peer mentoring schemes **(link to web page) run by RNIB and AFB.
Download a full copy of the revised programme below.
If you are unfamiliar with using a ZIP file, you can also find instructions on how to use this type of file. If you require further help please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0117 934 1718.
RNIB are indebted to Dr Karen Wolffe, who manages a private practice as a career counsellor and consultant in Austin, Texas, USA. She is the author of "Career counselling for people with disabilities: a practical guide to finding employment and navigating the rapids of life" and "The transition tote system", and is editor of "Skills for success: a career education handbook for children and youth with visual impairments".
She is co-author of "Transition issues for students with visual disabilities", "Focused on social skills", and "Teaching social skills to students with visual Impairments". Her research and writing focuses on career education for children and young people, the importance of social skills and literacy in the workplace, and moving blind and partially sighted people of working age into employment.
The pre-employment programme has been developed with the support of EU funding, under the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation programme. It formed part of the BiFocal VI project that has made the material available for translation in three other European countries: Poland, Bulgaria and Turkey.
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