Title: Tackling unemployment for blind and partially sighted people
Authors: Alex Saunders, Graeme Douglas and Paul Lynch, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2013
A three-year, action-based research project to help improve the employment prospects of blind and partially sighted people.
Blind and partially sighted people are significantly less likely to be in paid employment than the general population or other disabled people. Blind and partially sighted people need specialist support on their journey towards employment. Between 2010 and 2013, RNIB and the University of Birmingham carried out a three-year, action-based research project to help improve the employment prospects of blind and partially sighted people. Working alongside a group of employment specialists and approximately 100 blind and partially sighted people, we designed and tested:
We identified key factors that determine a blind or partially sighted person's distance from the labour market, and whether they are ready for work. Examples of those factors include:
We have shown that blind and partially sighted people furthest from the labour market require intensive support and specialist interventions in key areas. These include:
This toolkit is for employment professionals who work with blind and partially sighted people. It includes a set of questions which will help to gain a clear understanding of what a person's aspirations and abilities are in relation to employment, and what types of support and development are needed to help fulfil these. It also includes an action plan development document which allows users to assign the person to one of five levels. The assigned level can be helpful to communicate to blind and partially sighted people the steps they need to take, which will lead to paid or voluntary work. It can also help communicate progress they have made over time.