We know that line managers and supervisors have a challenging job.

Not only do you do your own job, but you coach, support and develop others in theirs too. As a manager, you play a really important part when it comes to the support given to colleagues, and you are in the front line when it comes to looking after your team at work. We hope that by offering useful tips, shared experiences and guidance across a range of areas we will instil you with the confidence to work successfully with blind and partially sighted colleagues and dispel a few myths along the way.

We asked blind and partially sighted people to tell us about their jobs and captured this diversity in a film.

"See what we can do" film transcript

Our aim is to assure you that working alongside a blind or partially sighted person can be straightforward and mutually beneficial.

We also know that if you and your team understand a bit about disability then the experience for your colleague with sight loss is much better. As a result, they are more likely to stay in, and progress at, work.

Discover some short facts about sight loss

Managers, supervisors and colleagues can be anxious about saying the wrong thing or causing offence. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand how someone with sight loss is able to do certain things in the workplace, for example, read documents or share written information. 

By speaking directly with your blind or partially sighted colleague, you can avoid making assumptions about what they can and can’t do. You are more likely to make better decisions by involving your colleague in generating solutions.

Some tips about communicating successfully

Blind and partially sighted colleagues should have access to all the same training courses and development opportunities as other sighted staff. There are some things you should consider to make sure your courses and presentations are as accessible for participants with sight loss as possible. As with every other area, don't make assumptions about blind and partially sighted participant's needs. They can vary considerably, so always ask the individual directly. If you plan and prepare your training session in advance you will be able to run an enjoyable, accessible and inclusive training session.

Video calling such as Teams, Skype and Zoom have quickly become a daily routine for business communication, and it is likely that this method of staying in touch will increasingly become the norm. This short guide looks at some simple ways of ensuring that your video call or online training session is as inclusive as possible of blind and partially sighted people.

Read our introduction to inclusive video calls

You can also download our comprehensive factsheet about providing accessible training courses

Work colleagues will often have questions about sight loss that they are too embarrassed, or fearful of causing offence, to ask. We've put together a selection of questions, taken from real-life examples fielded by blind and partially sighted people.

Is it OK to ask...?

 

Online awareness sessions

We run occasional online awareness sessions for line managers and HR professionals. These free specialist sessions are designed to help you understand all you need to know to support your staff. The training covers the four most common eye conditions and how they can affect people, simple adjustments you can make to the workplace and the available sources of support for employers and employees. Email us at: [email protected] to find out when the next session is taking place and how to register.