If you have recently experienced a change in your sight, a change in your working environment or a change of job you may need help and support to stay in work. This section gives an overview of the support and services that can help you. Remember - sight loss should not equal job loss.
It is common for people who are going through changes at work or who are not getting the support they need to feel anxious and unsure of what to do. When you are in this situation it is important to get further advice. There are a range of products and services that can help you do your job to the best of your ability. In addition to the advice found in this section, we also produce a more detailed factsheet covering staying in work.
The Equality Act says that employers have a legal duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' for disabled people. Reasonable adjustments may include:
- Providing a blind or partially sighted person with a reader or adapted computer with large character, braille display or speech output
- Providing time off when an employee develops a sight problem for rehabilitation/assessment
- Reallocating some minor duties to another colleague.
For more details please see the Disclosure and the Equality Act 2010.
Staying in work checklist
Read about the different steps you should take to help you stay in work, from expectations to talking to your employer.
Access to Work
Access to Work (AtW) can help fund extra costs in work that result from your sight problem. This funding can take the form of providing technology, work place adjustments, covering the costs of employing support workers, travel to work or training. The level of Access to Work funding is decided through an assessment that takes place in your workplace. This assessment takes into account your sight problem, your working environment and the job tasks that you perform.
The working environment
There are a number of adaptations that can be made to the working environment to help you in your job. For example, if you find conditions too bright or too dark then adjustments can usually be made to the lighting levels. It may be possible to fit guide rails or tactile flooring to help you get around safely and confidently. All these adaptations can be funded through the Access to Work scheme.
Travel to work and travel in work
If you are experiencing sight loss it is possible that you are no longer able to drive. If this is the case then travel to work or travel in work may be an issue, particularly if public transport is not available. It may be possible to get support through the Access to Work scheme to help meet the extra costs of travelling by taxi. Access to Work can also fund route learning and mobility training, if it is going to help you to retain your job, or if it is training you'll need to take up the job.