Employing someone with sight loss

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

A blind or partially sighted person can be as much of an asset to your organisation as any other employee. There are simple steps you can take to ensure you achieve success as an employer.

Our guide to employing someone with sight loss has been designed to address those questions 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 be successful in their role and progress their career.

Download the full guide

Guide to employing someone with sight loss – accessible PDF (APDF, 1.2MB)

Guide to employing someone with sight loss – accessible Word document (Word, 131KB)

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."

Did you know?

  • There are approximately 84,500 blind and partially sighted people of working age

  • Only one in four registered blind and partially sighted people of working age is in paid employment, and the number is falling

  • People with sight loss succeed in a wide variety of jobs across almost all employment sectors

  • Developments in the use of technology in the workplace means that job opportunities for blind and partially sighted people have expanded considerably

  • Assistive technology enables blind and partially sighted people to take more control over their work, and participate in jobs that they may otherwise be excluded from

  • There is evidence to show that disabled employees take less than average sick leave

  • Employers have noted low absenteeism rates and long tenures amongst their disabled employees, and describe them as being loyal, reliable, and hardworking

  • Retaining an employee who is losing their sight means that an employer can continue to benefit from their skills, knowledge and relationships they have built up over time 

For more information, you can call the Employment Line on 08004402255 or email [email protected].

More information about supporting someone with sight loss

Get in touch today

Find out all the different ways the RNIB Helpline can support you by calling 0303 123 9999 or emailing [email protected].