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Fife business achieves Visibly Better Employer Standard- helping people with sight loss gain employment

A digital learning company based in Dunfermline, has worked with RNIB to achieve the Visibly Better Employer Standard; an initiative which supports employers to create an inclusive and accessible work environment for their blind and partially sighted employees.

There are approximately 2,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted working in Scotland. However, this number is decreasing as over a quarter of those registered said they had left their last job following the onset of sight loss or deterioration of their sight. Though many say that with the right support, they could have continued in their role.

Digital learning company, eCom Learning Solutions, deliver learning courses and platforms across public, private, and charity sectors, to suit many different needs. Looking to build on their inclusivity, the company connected with RNIB as Jade Roviezzo, Office Coordinator, explains,

“We were doing a lot of work with RNIB to develop their courses, and the partnership has given us a better understanding of sight loss and its impact. It’s also highlighted how small adjustments to the way a company does something or even the approach it takes, can make an enormous difference to someone with sight loss.

“When we heard about the Visibly Better Employer Standard, we thought this would be a great opportunity to ensure we are doing all we can to be inclusive but also we hope to attract a wider pool of applicants with different skill sets.

“Managers also have had training to understand what adjustments can be made for people with sight loss so we’re prepared to accommodate any requests.”

RNIB support organisations to achieve the Visibly Better Employer Standard by providing advice, guidance, training, and resources to support recruitment and working practices for employees with sight loss.

Practically, this could involve ensuring that recruitment portals are accessible to use those using screen reading technology, staff training, policies for guide dogs, and ensuring onboarding documents are accessible.

RNIB Employment Advisor, Roy Imeson, says,

“We want to support as many blind and partially sighted people as we can to stay in work, and we believe that sight loss should not equal job loss.

“Upon achieving the standard, we maintain a long-term working relationship with employers, working together to ensure that the standard is having a meaningful impact.

“Together we explore work internship opportunities to enable jobseekers to enter the labour market or return to work following a career break or period of absence. And we also re-evaluate employers every 12 months to ensure that they still meet all of the requirements and continue to be inclusive for blind and partially sighted people.”

*Listen to RNIB Connect Radio’s interview with eCom Learning at Audioboom.