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Talking to your employer

There are no hard and fast rules about talking to your employer about your sight. There might be a time when you really have to discuss it, for example, if there is a safety implication. However, it is usually up to you to decide how and when to tell your employer about your sight loss or a change in your vision.

If you explain to your employer about your sight, they will have the opportunity to help you with reasonable changes to help you stay in your job. Of course, this can be a difficult subject to raise, and people react in different ways, so it can help to plan how any conversation may go.

The Equality Act

The Equality Act states that employers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments at work for people with a disability. But your employer only has to make adjustments if they know you meet the definition of disabled.

Typical adjustments might include:

  • Providing modified equipment, such as a large screen monitor, changes to PC settings, screen readers or magnification software.
  • Providing a support worker.
  • Changing the buildings where you work, transferring you to another location or allowing you to spend more time working from home.
  • Allowing flexible working hours.
  • Giving you time off for assessment, treatment and rehabilitation appointments.
  • Providing training or retraining if you need to change your job role or duties due to changes in your vision.
  • Making instruction manuals and work-related systems more accessible.

You can play an active role in deciding which adjustments are right for you. You might also wish to advise your employer to talk to occupational health services or RNIB about providing support for employees with sight loss.

You can also tell them about practical support available from Access to Work.